Support for legacy giving has come from a UK Government minister. Tracey Crouch MP, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, has written to more than 8,000 solicitors, asking them to make will-writing clients aware of the option of including a charitable gift in their will.
In her letter the minister said: "We want to increase awareness of legacy giving and make it the norm, so as many charities can benefit as possible.
"There are many ways we can boost recognition. Employers can promote the scheme when providing information about pensions and retirement. Legal firms could also talk clients through the process of legacy giving when discussing their will."
She added: "I hope solicitors who receive this letter will join Remember A Charity’s growing network of campaign supporters."
Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, commented: "The legal community has such an important role to play in making the public aware of all the options when writing a will. While we always encourage people to consider their friends and family first, it is critical that solicitors also make clients aware that they can support charities in this way too."
With research showing that solicitors can treble the number of legacy gifts made simply by referencing the option of including a charity, he noted: "People have all sorts of misconceptions about gifts in wills, often believing that you have to choose between family and charity, or that you need to be wealthy to leave a legacy. The reality is that even a small amount can make a massive difference to the good causes people care about."
The most recent annual tracking study carried out for Remember A Charity reported that 72% of legal advisers always or sometimes advise clients about the inheritance tax benefits of legacy giving, up from 66% in 2015 and 61% in 2009 (when the survey was first carried out).
Remember A Charity is aiming to grow its network of Campaign Supporters who always mention charitable legacies during the will writing process.
Legacy income is currently worth more than £2.8bn a year to UK charities, and is the largest single source of voluntary income to the sector.