The number of gifts left to charities in Wills each year is set to increase from 120,000 to 200,000 by 2045, reaching a value of £10 billion. This is due to various factors including increases in deaths, more individuals leaving behind Wills and a higher proportion of people leaving gifts in their Will, according to a report by Legacy Foresight.
The report provides a positive outlook on how legacy and in-memory giving will develop over the next 25 years. In 2018, charities in the UK reportedly received £5 billion through in-memory motivated giving and gifts in Wills. This currently equates to a tenth of charities’ total income. By 2045, the figure is expected to double and reach £10 billion.
The research predicts that the growth will be driven by the affluent baby-boomer generation, currently in their 50s, 60s and early 70s. It shows that baby boomers are more charitable than the generations before, meaning the number of gifts in Wills is likely to rise significantly in the years to come.
Additionally, people without children are expected to account for a significant share of all legacy giving. Statistics suggest that the number of people dying child-free is likely to increase. For example, 20% of women born in the 1960s have no children, compared to just 12% of those born in the 1930s. On the other hand, those with children will focus more on family giving, with less space for charities in their Wills.
The rising death rate is also predicted to contribute to the rise of in-memory giving. However, the uncertain economic and social climate could mean that gift values will rise slowly in comparison to the last 30 years.
We are likely to see smaller charities making larger gains, with more people looking to make a difference to local and specialist charities throughout their lifetime and beyond. More people are likely to include donations in their legacies, as well as regular charitable giving during their lives.
Meg Abdy, Development Director at Legacy Foresight, said:
“There’s no doubt UK society will see some fundamental shifts over the next two decades, including many more people living into their 90s, a new generation of child-free donors, and the biggest intergenerational transfer of wealth ever seen.”
“People will choose to split their giving between more causes and technology will help to level the playing field, enabling the smallest charities and community groups to reach and inspire supporters. This all means that competition is going to increase for donors’ money.”
When planning for the future, members of the public are likely to be thinking carefully about how their loved ones and/or chosen charities get the full benefit of their legacies. If you’re a professional, you are in a vital position to help best advise your clients. It’s important to understand your clients’ wishes and the makeup of their estate when offering advice or guidance.
As more money is being passed on to beneficiaries and charities, Executors are likely to face the task of dealing with increasingly complex financial circumstances and legal paperwork.