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Last updated September 2019

More people leaving gifts to charities in wills

The number of gifts being left to charities in wills has jumped by 53% year-on-year according to business data from legal services provider Co-op, released to coincide with Remember A Charity Week.

It said that, based on thousands of wills written by Co-op in the last 12 months, people are becoming more generous when it comes to leaving gifts to charities now than in previous years. The 53% increase was found by comparing charitable giving via wills during the period July 2018 to June 2019 with the 12 months beforehand.

The most common charities Co-op’s clients are choosing to leave gifts to are cancer charities, followed by animal charities and international charities. Children’s charities, local causes, rescue organisations, religious causes, charities to combat poverty and homelessness are also popular areas to contribute to, as are hospices, the research found.

Anti-poverty and homelessness charities, and those that help the elderly are also some of the fastest-growing beneficiaries. In the past year, legacy giving to charities supporting poverty and homelessness has increased by 227% compared with a year earlier. Legacy giving to charities providing help for the elderly has increased by 174% year-on-year, the Co-op said.

The findings were released ahead of Remember a Charity in your will week, running from September 9 to 15. Its business data also reveals that, as well as money, generous supporters have left a range of items to charities of their choice, including a collection of bicycles, vehicles and musical instruments.

James Antoniou, head of wills for Co-op Legal Services, said: “Over the past 12 months, we’ve certainly seen an increased desire for clients to leave charitable gifts of all types in wills and this is often something that the charities heavily rely on. We’re delighted to be partnering with Remember a Charity for the seventh year running, as we continue to progress with our shared aim to make will writing and considering leaving a gift to charity the social norm.”

Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, said: “We hope this year’s Remember a Charity Week will encourage more people across the UK to consider how they can pass on something wonderful and to make a real impact. If everyone left just a small amount to good causes, once they’ve taken care of loved ones, it could make an enormous difference for future generations.”

Read: Yahoo! Finance - More people leaving gifts to charities in wills, says Co-op