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£2.6BN is donated through gifts in wills each year – but how big is the opportunity?

by Constance Mantle
September 10, 2017

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£2.6BN is donated through gifts in wills each year – but how big is the opportunity?

Legacy giving amounted to more than £2.6BN in 2015 and made up approximately 13% of voluntary income for the third sector. But how big should it really be?

Remember a Charity’s research shows that whilst 35% of people would like to leave a gift to charity in their will, only 6.3% of wills actually contain them.

That’s a huge discrepancy between intent and result, and a symptom of many factors - from a lack of public awareness, to a reluctance of will-writing professionals to discuss charitable giving.

And what about all the people who die without a will, and don’t even give themselves the chance to leave a gift to charity? According to the Law Commission, nearly two thirds of the British public do not have a will, and 40% of us die without one.

Add these factors together and annual legacy income could soar to more than £15BN. 6X bigger than today. A £13BN opportunity.

And think what that additional income would mean for the UK's charities! Think how many more people we could support, programmes we could sponsor, grants that could be made. 

At Farewill we think that everyone has a responsibility to normalise gifts in wills: from employers & policy makers with the ability to encourage good will-writing habits; solicitors and will-writers who are there in the moment of drafting; fundraisers on the front line; and of course, us all as individuals.

Thankfully, we all have a helping hand from the likes of Remember a Charity – and this week we get to celebrate the amazing work they do.

So don’t forget to tune into their radio station, take to Twitter to #HaveYourSay, and most importantly do your bit to raise awareness of the importance of gifts in wills.

Farewill is a digital will-writing company specialising in legacy giving. We work with charities who want to increase their legacy income, and get a better understanding of their supporters. Find out more at

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