This September, the legal profession is joining forces with over 200 charities to raise awareness of gifts in Wills and making clients aware that they have the option of doing so. Although only around 6% of estates currently include a charity in their Will, legacy donations generate over £2.8 billion for good causes annually, funding vital services across the country.
Remember A Charity in Your Will Week (10-16 September 2018) celebrates the impact of legacy giving and highlights the critical role of the legal profession in making clients aware of the opportunity of leaving a donation in their Will, after taking care of their family and friends. Solicitors and Will-writers within Remember A Charity’s network of 1,400 legal supporters will promote the concept of legacy giving to clients, displaying campaign materials in their offices.
According to Remember A Charity’s latest solicitor and will-writer benchmark study, six in ten advisers sometimes or always mention the option of including a charitable gift to will-writing clients, but the potential is far greater. The campaign describes these conversations as ‘critical’ with research from the Behavioural Insights Team showing that the legacy giving donation rate doubles when solicitors ask clients if they would like to consider leaving a charitable gift.
Rob Cope, Director of Remember A Charity, says: “Charitable bequests have shaped much of the world around us, with education programmes to medical research, schools and emergency services all having been funded directly by gifts in wills. Simply by including charitable donations in will-writing discussions, this can have a critical impact on donations, while enabling the public to ensure their final wishes are met.
“As it stands, not all legal advisers are completely comfortable talking about legacies with their clients and that’s something that we’re hoping to change. Unless solicitors – those who are at the frontline when it comes to speaking to the public about their final wishes – feel confident raising the issue, the risk is that good causes can be forgotten.
He continues: “Remember A Charity Week is a chance to celebrate the huge impact of charitable bequests and ensure all clients are aware that they have the opportunity of leaving a gift in their Will, no matter how large or small.”
Solicitors and Will-writers are encouraged to help raise awareness of charitable bequests, informing relevant clients about how they can include a charity in their will.
2018 marks the ninth year of Remember A Charity Week, during which charities, government and stakeholders will all come together to highlight the importance of legacy giving. The campaign’s consumer awareness drive features the launch of a new ‘charity-powered’ search engine, called ‘Human’. Combining charities’ unique knowledge and expertise, the search engine enables the public to select from over 100 of life’s biggest questions and to hear directly from charities, supporters and beneficiaries what they are doing in response. Questions include ‘How can we cure the deadliest common cancers?’ and ‘How do we ensure no one has to sleep rough?’
Cope adds: “This campaign has been designed to showcase just how vital charities are in responding to many of the world’s biggest problems and how legacies can help combat those issues. We hope that it will encourage the public to think about their deepest concerns for the world we live in and to consider leaving a gift in their will.”
To find out more or join the existing network of 1,400 campaign supporters visit www.rememberacharity.org.uk.