Charities should act now to build on the rise in legacy intentions | Charity law

A rise in the public’s willingness to leave gifts to charities in their wills should prompt charitable organisations to act now to attract this growing income.

Katherine Ellis, a senior associate solicitor in Thursfields’ Birmingham office was speaking after a new survey found 40% of people aged 40-plus would be happy to give a small percentage of their estate to charity, up from 35% in 2008,

The same survey revealed that almost two thirds (65%) of the public said that it was acceptable to leave entire estates to charity.

Katherine Ellis said: “With attitudes shifting where legacy giving is concerned, now is the perfect time for charities to show how crucial they consider these gifts to be.

All charities, regardless of their size, have a duty to ensure that the full value of legacies they receive are maximised wherever possible.

There is also a need for charities to make sure they are adhering to charity law and all the obligations and duties that exist in relation to such legacy gifts.”

Katherine, whose expertise includes dealing with complex charity legacy issues and contested estate disputes, added: “Thursfields has first-hand knowledge and experience of the charity legacy sector, and this means we can guide charities on the legacy giving process from start to finish.

Doing this in a clear, transparent way can enable charities to display how carefully they administer such income and how important it is to their activities – all of which can help them grow their legacy income.”

Anyone wanting to discuss a legacy matter can contact Katherine Ellis at and 0121 647 5419.

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