Law firms team up with charities to increase legacies in wills

Many charities are now being supported by law firms in campaigns and events to encourage clients to remember charities in their will. One successful case of such partnerships has arisen in Lincolnshire, where hundreds of thousands of pounds have been gifted to charity from wills.

Ringrose Law has been supporting Cancer Research UK for the past 9 years, helping people plan their affairs and support the charity of their choice. In one year they have facilitated over £500,000 worth of gifts to Cancer Research UK and over £1.9 million in the last 5 years.

David Heath, Partner and Head of Wills & Probate at Ringrose Law, has received a special certificate from Cancer Research UK in appreciation of their support.

Lisajane Gooden, Cancer Research’s Regional Legacy Manager for the East Midlands, stated that they work with a number of local solicitors to offer a free will service to anyone over the age of 55. They aim to enable more people to write their will or receive professional legal advice on an existing will.

Cancer Research UK spends £11 million a year on research in the East Midlands alone and legacies are important to continue their vital research saving millions of lives. Many charities, both large and small, depend on legacies as a major part of their funding and without them they would simply not be able to exist.

Unfortunately there seems to be an imbalance between people with the intention of giving money to a charity in their wills, and those who actually do. A research survey has shown that 35% of those asked wanted to leave money to charity in their will, whereas only 7.3% do. While it is common for people to give to charity throughout their lifetime, people may not think to include a charity in their will or know how to do so.

Law firms like Ringrose Law are helping to increase the number of legacies in wills by raising awareness of gifting to charities in wills and offering free legal advice to clients in their area. Moreover, campaigns such as the recent Remember A Charity in your will week are successfully encouraging more people to consider leaving a gift to charity and give them the opportunity to find the advice they need.

Your firm or practice could participate in campaigns or join with local charities to offer a free will writing services and advice in return for donations or legacies. One-off events and lasting partnerships can help to promote your business and services to potential clients in the local area as a considerate and creative practice, while increasing legacies left to charities. Furthermore, a special certificate of acknowledgment from a charity may help your business to stand out within the local community.

Has your firm or practice supported any local charities or participated in campaigns to increase awareness of gifting to charities in wills?

Today's Wills and Probate