Solicitors increasingly raising legacy wills with clients

According to a tracking study commissioned by Remember A Charity, the percentage of solicitors and will-writers that start discussions about legacy giving with their clients is at an all-time high.

Legacy Giving in Wills

Legacy giving in wills

A survey by researchers Future Thinking has investigated the number of solicitors and will-writers that discuss the option of legacy giving with their clients. The research revealed that:

  • 68% of solicitors and will-writers always or sometimes proactively raise the subject of legacy giving with clients, up from 58% in 2012
  • 24% occasionally raise the topic
  • only 7% say they never do, down from 16% in 2012

The tracking study also revealed that, on average, advisers said that 20 per cent of the wills they deal with contain a charitable gift. This figure has risen steadily from 16 per cent in 2012. Overall, 85 per cent of the legal firms who were surveyed said that they had assisted in administering estates that included a legacy.

The research also explored the reasons why some advisers do, and some advisers don’t mention legacy giving to their clients. Solicitors and will-writers that always open legacy giving conversations with clients said they typically do so because it is part of their standard will-writing process or because they want to alert clients to the tax breaks linked to writing a gift into their will.

The most common reason for not always mentioning legacy giving is that clients have already made their intentions clear, such as wanting their family and friends to be sole beneficiaries.

Leaving gifts in wills

Rob Cope, Director of Remember A Charity, says: “Over the years, we’ve seen a marked change in the way that advisers are approaching gifts in wills with clients. Legacy giving is becoming more common across the client base, and there’s much less reticence when it comes to raising the topic of charitable giving.

“Increasingly, advisers now see discussions about gifts in wills as part and parcel of offering a comprehensive service to clients. In most cases, clients will want to look after friends and family first – and that’s something we’d encourage. But a simple question asking all will-writing clients if they’d like to consider leaving a donation too can make a huge difference to the number of people that choose to give in this way.”

See also

What is a deathbed gift and is it legal?

Everything you need to know about will trusts

Where should I store my will?

Find out more

Making a will (

Image: Getty Images

Publication date: 11 December 2019