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Co-op calls for rise in legacy giving this Remember a Charity Week

Co-op Legal Services is urging the nation and will providers to take action as national Remember A Charity in your Will Week 2017 commences (11th – 17th September).

According to recent research, over half of UK adults (56%²) have a will, yet Co-op’s business data from the past year reveals that only 9%³ of those who make a will opt to include a gift to a charity.

Gifts left in Wills are vital to charities, with Cancer Research UK stating it makes up over a third of its income⁴.

Co-op plans to encourage charitable bequests this year, offering a discount of up to 20% off their will writing services through their partnership with the 190-strong charity consortium, Remember A Charity, encouraging UK adults to consider charities when recording their final wishes.

Co-op’s latest business data highlights that whilst Co-op clients are leaving gifts most frequently to charities which tackle poverty and cancer, animal charities are pulling on our heartstrings with over a tenth (14%) of all legacy gifts being given to them.

Community initiatives and local causes also hold a lasting place in our hearts as people seek to give back to the community where they have lived. Almost 13% of legacy gifts have been pledged to these over a 12 month period.

Full break down of the charity categories Co-op’s clients have chosen to leave gifts to are as follows:

  1. Poverty and Homelessness
  2. Cancer charities
  3. Animal charities
  4. Local causes / community
  5. International charities
  6. Children’s charities
  7. Hospices
  8. Rescue Organisations
  9. Help for elderly
  10. Religious causes

However, it isn’t just money that’s left to charity, people also choose to give more personal items to charitable causes. Cancer Research UK’s generous supporters have left a range of interesting items, including houses, land, part of a river, paintings, football programme collections, jewellery, books, and a stunning pair of antique Chinese vases which were sold on their behalf at auction for nearly £60k.

James Antoniou, Head of Wills for Co-op Legal Services said:

“We work with a number of large and smaller charities offering affordable will writing services to their supporters. As such we understand that there is certainly a desire for clients to leave charitable gifts of all types in wills, for a variety of reasons and this is something that the charities heavily rely on. These gifts can be small or large and they don’t necessarily have to be financial.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Remember A Charity for the fifth year running, as we share their aim to make will writing and considering leaving a gift to charity the social norm.”

Rob Cope, Director of Remember A Charity, commented:

“We’re delighted that Co-op Legal Services is continuing to champion and drive legacy giving forward on behalf of our charities. Gifts in Wills are the lifeblood of so many vital services that are provided by charities all over the UK.

‘’We hope this Remember A Charity Week will encourage even more people to consider how they can have their say on the world they want to pass on. If everyone left just a small amount to good causes, once they’ve taken care of loved ones, it could make an enormous difference for future generations.”

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