Legacy giving set to rise despite pandemic, experts predict

The number of people giving to charity in their Will may rise over the next five years, despite experts predicting that legacy income would fall as a result of the pandemic.

The new estimates come after analyst Legacy Foresight predicted that legacy income would decrease by between eight and 27 per cent in 2020, with the average value of residual bequests also set to decline by four per cent.

The group reported that the pandemic was likely to have a significant effect on the value of property – a major source of legacy income.

Commenting on the earlier prediction, Jon Franklin, Economist at Legacy Foresight, said: “These forecasts show a more dramatic decline in legacy income, especially over the coming year.”

However, the latest predictions put legacy income rising over the next five years, growing from £3.2 billion to up to £3.8 billion by 2024.

The new models also show that the impact on accrued income is “likely to be less severe”, while professionals involved in the administrative processing of estates have “adapted relatively quickly”, meaning delays should be “fairly limited”.

“As administrative delays unwind and income starts to flow from the anticipated increase in bequests, it’s likely that income could rise quite rapidly during 2021 and 2022,” said Mr Franklin.

“We expect the situation to improve over the coming months, as charities continue to adapt their systems for collecting cash and recording bequest numbers in the new environment.”

Commenting on the new figures, Matthew Lagden, CEO of the Institute of Legacy Management, said: “There is no question that that last two months have been exceptionally difficult, both for our members and for the probate profession as a whole, but it is heartening to see that the ability of the sector to adapt and overcome these difficulties means that income may not be as depressed as we originally feared.

“It is even more heartening to see that the prospects for legacy income over the next five years remain buoyant.”

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Natalie Payne

Natalie Payne

Senior Associate Solicitor, London, Head of Private Client, Wills and Probate Team at Mackrell.Solicitors
Natalie is a Private Client Solicitor at Mackrell.Solicitors and is based in their London office. Natalie has a very hands on approach with her clients and guides them through every step when looking after their personal affairs and/or those of their friends and family.