Legacy notifications to reach record numbers in 21/22

Legacy Foresight have compiled their latest Legacy Market Briefing 2021 to the sector following the latest benchmarking and analysis of legacy giving in the UK via their Legacy Monitor Consortium.

The report shares top-line findings and analysis for UK legacy giving now and in the years ahead, highlighting key trends and implications for fundraisers.

This year the report has found that gifts in wills are worth £3bn a year to UK charities

Over the past three decades, total UK legacy income has grown from £0.8bn in 1990 to £3bn in 2020, an annual growth rate of 4.5% per year. Once you take into account inflation, this means that the real value of gifts in Wills to UK charities has doubled over 30 years.

As it stands the report shows that around 40% of UK deaths result in a Will at probate. 16% will include a charitable legacy, a number expected to increase 15% by 2030.

The number of charitable bequests has risen by almost 50% over the past three decades, from 75,000 in 1990 to 112,000 in 2020. And on average there are 3.3 charitable gifts per will.

While medium (£1-10m legacy income) and large (£10-25m legacy income) charities have reported the fastest 5 year growth rates, local and specialised causes are finding their space in the legacy arena. Over the past ten years, the fastest-growing sub-sectors have been air ambulances (14% per year) and wildlife trusts (13% per year), followed by arts and education charities, NHS hospitals, and mental health charities, all ranging between 7% and 8% per year

Data from HMCTS suggest that grants of probate were 30% higher in the first half of 2021 than the same period in 2020. And in turn, Legacy Monitor Consortium notifications in the three months to March 2021 were the highest Legacy Foresight have seen in the 14-year history of Legacy Monitor, up 18% on the same time last year. This suggests that some of the problems around probate applications may be starting to unwind.

However, applications for probate started to fall away again over the summer, and anecdotal evidence suggests that there are still ongoing delays throughout the process, so the challenges for the sector will likely continue well into 2022.

The challenge for legacy managers is how to deal with the peaks and troughs in workload this situation brings. The short-term volatility is perhaps best managed with extra interim resource. In the medium to long term, the increasing caseload will accentuate the need for new systems and procedures, better training, and the recruitment of a new generation of legacy administration experts.

Over the next five years 2021 – 2025 UK legacy income will total £19.6bn, climbing to £23bn in the period 2026 – 2030. By 2030 UK charities will receive £5bn per year in legacy income from 146,000 charitable bequests.

Further ahead, Legacy Foresight’s market projections are still very positive. Thanks to the size, wealth, and lifestyles of the baby boomer generation, they predict that incomes will again double in real terms by 2050.

Jon Franklin, economist at Legacy Foresight comments

“After a difficult couple of years, the outlook for legacy incomes is promising. However, the strength of the recovery is highly dependent on the pace at which delays in the estate administration process can be unwound.”

The full 2021 Legacy market Briefing can be found at www.legacyforesight.co.uk

  • Silverstone Auctions
Today's Wills and Probate