Legacy gifting to charities surges 56% in 12 months

Charitable donations in wills have increased 56% in the last 12 months according to Co-op Legal Services.

The latest figures show that, during lockdown, legacy gifts increased by four-fifths (81%) when compared to the same period last year with cancer charities experiencing the biggest increase, up (77%).

During the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic from mid-March to June, Co-op saw gifts being left in wills to charities increase by 81%.

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The legal provider’s insight also shows that it’s not just the volume of donations in wills that’s increasing. The types of causes people are choosing to leave gifts to has also seen a shift.

Co-op revealed local causes have seen a “significant increase” in donations in the last 12 months, making them the second most common charity UK adults are now choosing to leave gifts to.

Most common types of charities Co-op’s clients are leaving gifts to:

1. Cancer charities
2. Local causes
3. Animal charities
4. International charities
5. Children’s charities
6. Hospice
7. Rescue Organisations
8. Religious causes
9. Poverty and Homelessness
10. Help for the Elderly

James Antoniou, head of Wills for Co-op Legal Services, said: “It’s moving to see that at such a difficult time for so many, people are still including gifts to charities within their wills. Interestingly, in addition to monetary gifts, we’ve seen some unique personal effects such as a collection of guitars and a classic red mini being left to charity through wills.

“This increase in generosity will make a huge difference to charitable causes and just shows why it’s so important for people wanting to make this difference that they do put a will in place.”

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