Year in Wills report 2022

Welcome to Farewill’s Year in Will’s Report 2022. Dive in to discover the patterns we’ve seen throughout the year, what they suggest about the way the UK plans for death and how charitable legacy giving is on the rise despite the financial crisis.

People were generous amidst the financial crisis

Over £200 million was pledged to charities in legacy gifts in our wills in 2022.

Despite the financial crisis our charitable spirit prevailed across the UK, with the percentage of legacy gift inclusion increasing by 8.7% overall. The biggest increase in legacy pledges came in the 61-70 age group, with the percentage of customers including a gift growing by 33% year on year. This was closely followed by 51-60 year-olds, with a 7% percentage increase.

We’re proud to report that since 2016, wills written with Farewill have raised over £700m in pledged legacy gifts.

The average sum of primary gifts increased in every age bracket from 41-80, with the average pledged gift from 71-80 year olds increasing by over 16% year on year. Those over 91 were the most generous with primary gifts, with the average gift amount from that age group increasing by 285% since 2020.

During times of financial uncertainty, it can be difficult to regularly donate to causes you care about. Offering charity supporters a free will writing service in the hope that they may include a legacy gift is a win-win. It provides supporters with an easy, free service they value, while also keeping them engaged with a charity at a time when they might have little disposable income.

We worked with over 270 charity partners in 2022

Farewill offers charities a will writing service, which gives the charity’s supporters the opportunity to leave a donation to the charity in their will. In 2022, we worked with over 270 charity partners, from larger organisations like Macmillan and Save The Children, to local hospices, small cultural arts institutions and education charities.

When did our customers make legacy pledges?

The start of the new year (1 – 2 January 2022) saw the lowest percentage of legacy gifts to charities. This could be a reflection of customers choosing to start the year by ticking something off their to do list. Customers making wills across these 2 days were more likely to visit our website directly, rather than through a referral from one of our charity partners.  

By contrast, Saturday 14 May was the most charitable day of the year, with 43% of wills written containing legacy gifts. It was also the day of the Eurovision Grand Final, which saw Sam Ryder, the UK’s entry, placed second. Good vibes!

Tips for writing your will

  1. Start by making notes The more you think about it upfront, the easier you’ll find it to write your will. So start by asking yourself these questions:

    • Who do I want to inherit my money and property?

    • What do I want each of my loved ones to get? 

    • Do I want to leave money to charity? 

    • Are there any gifts I’d like to leave people? 

    Once you’ve figured these things out and got it all down on paper, you’ll have taken a big first step towards writing your will.

  2. Make a list of people you trust Your will lets you name legal guardians for your children and who should look after your pets. You will also need to choose your executors (these are the people who will sort everything out when you’re gone). Before making any big decisions, it’s a good idea to write out a list of options. This could include people like: 

    • your partner 

    • your children 

    • your parents

    • your siblings

    • your best friend

  3. Do it your way

There are many ways to make a will. So shop around until you find a service and price that suits you. You could do:

With Farewill, you’ll be able to ask questions and get guidance along the way.


For this report we’ve analysed anonymised data from thousands of the wills people wrote with us in 2022, and compared this to our data for 2020 and 2021. Legacy giving data was collated from wills written with Farewill between 1 January and 13 December 2022, all other data was collated between 1 January and 31 December 2022.

The Farewill data we’ve looked at includes: customer numbers over time, customer demographics, cash and possessions left as gifts and money pledged to charities.

The generation brackets we’ve used

  • Gen Z, born 1997 – 2012

  • Millennials, born 1981 – 1996

  • Gen X, born 1965 – 1980 

  • Boomers II, born 1946 – 1964

  • Boomers I, 1946 – 1954

  • Post War, born 1928 – 1945

All data is fully anonymised when we analyse it. 

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