Legacy Management In The New World Of Social Isolation

In the last two weeks, all 600 of our members have transitioned from being mainly office based to working from home, many of them suddenly having to home school children (and partners!) as well.

As you can imagine, it has been quite a hectic couple of weeks, and it is a testament to our members and the probate community more generally that it has been managed with relatively little disruption.

Now that the dust is settling, we can begin to see what the world looks like for the time being. We at the Institute of Legacy Management thought it would be helpful if we shared some of the issues our members are facing, because we know that many of them are the same issues that the Probate community are facing.

Many charities rely on legacy income, which is currently worth £3.1bn a year to the sector, and that is even more true when other income sources, such as events, have effectively collapsed.

Our members also rely on probate professionals in private practice to support them in delivering that income, and we are always incredibly grateful for the work you do on our behalf.

There is no doubt that legacy income will drop this year; the estimates range from a 10% drop to a 25% drop. That will have a significant impact on a sector that is already struggling because of falls in other income.

Many of our members are seeing a sudden drop off in the amount of income they receive on a month by month basis, in some cases by as much as 50%. This is largely down to the near total freeze in the housing market, and there isn’t much any of us can do about that. However, we would ask that if you are holding cash in a charitable estate and are in a position to make an interim distribution, please consider doing so.

In common with many office-based staff, our members have had to adjust their working practices radically. Offices are now closed, and collecting post and paying in cheques can be a significant problem.

If you can communicate by email and make payments via direct bank transfer, that will be a massive help for our members. We are looking at ways to make this more secure, and to enable verification of bank details, and if you can bear with us while we resolve this issue that would be greatly appreciated.

Finally, we wanted to say a huge thank you to the whole probate community, for your flexibility, professionalism and commitment. From finding new ways to get wills witnessed safely, to looking at new ways of interacting, and finding new ways to market properties, as far as we are concerned you have all been some of the unsung heroes of this crisis.

Hopefully this will all come to an end before too long, but for now, thank you from the Institute of Legacy Management.

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