Statistics quoted by the Institute of Fundraising indicate that, though 58% of the UK population give to charity during their lifetime, only 7% leave a bequest or legacy to charity in their will (mentioned in this pdf download, entitled “Legacies (in 60 minutes)”).
The problem with considering leaving something to charity in our will probably stems from our general reluctance to talk about death and money in the same sentence.
There are various reasons why people choose to leave money or property to a charity in their will.
- They may be an existing donor of the charity.
- It may be because they have a direct connection to the cause – or through a friend or relative (e.g. some sort of medical condition).
- It could be that they have always supported the aims of the charity, even if they have never actually donated to it.
- They may feel no one close to them needs the money or may have no one obvious to whom to give it.
- Above a certain level of wealth, a big motivator might just be to prevent the tax man getting any share of the proceeds (charitable legacies / bequests are free of inheritance tax).
Charities need to get a predictable level of income so as to be able to plan their future efforts.
At the moment, however, donation levels from wills are so low that no charity can rely upon that source in any income forecasts. Solicitors must continue to encourage charitable giving by way of bequest / legacy, as well as the usual fund-raising for charities throughout all of our lives.
One such method of lifetime giving to charity was mentioned by us in a recent article on this website. We reported that, for the month of November 2016, Grigor & Young would be donating £100 from each fee for preparation of a Will to The Oaks Palliative Care Unit in Elgin.
Centres such as The Oaks aim to help the patient – and their relatives and friends – find the best quality of life, in their particular circumstances.
The results of the November wills promotion are now in.
We are delighted that this promotion has raised a total of £6,021.42 for The Oaks.
This is made up of a mixture of wills: some made by couples and some single wills. It also includes £521.42 from the 2 charity collection tins we have for The Oaks in our Forres and Elgin offices.
We are hoping to arrange presentation of a cheque to The Oaks before the end of January 2017.
All donations to The Oaks are used to make patients more comfortable and enhance their quality of life.
Donations help towards:
- soft furnishings
- music and art therapies
- outings, and
- ongoing projects.
So, what should this mean for you?
As discussed above, we cannot “make your will for you”, in the sense of telling you what you should include in it. On the other hand, we would hope to inspire you to action – not only by making a will but also by leaving something to a charity dear to you, as part of that process.
Most of us give to charity on a regular basis throughout our life. We should also think about how we can benefit a charity or charities after our death.
Given how few people remember charities in their wills at present, even a small increase in numbers could make a big difference to the charities sector as a whole.
How we can help
If you would like further information about making a Will, please contact Reception in Elgin (01343 544077) or Forres (01309 672126). Or you could send us a Free Online Enquiry and we will get back to you. All initial enquiries are free of charge and without obligation.
Links you might like
The following articles on this website attempt to explain why it is generally a good idea to have a will – not just for you but also for those closest to you.