Amount of Charity Donations included in UK Wills has Soared during Pandemic

Generous Brits have increased the amount of money written into their wills that is destined to go to charities after their death, an online will-writing service has revealed.

In April 2020, over £35m worth of charity donations were included in wills, which is a ten-fold increase on February 2020, and a surge on the average amount of £4m per month throughout 2019.

The data has been released by will-writing service Farewill and is encouraging news for charities who have struggled to fundraise during the pandemic, due to event cancellations and the ‘rule of six’ preventing large gatherings.

In May and June, the figures were lower, but legacy donations at Farewill still average £10m each month.

Dan Garrett, chief executive at Farewill, said: “We write thousands of wills every month and legacy giving has always been popular with our customers.”

It is thought that the coronavirus pandemic has brought communities together, with stories such as the fundraising efforts of Captain Sir Tom Moore spurring the public on to make charitable donations a part of their legacy.

At the height of the pandemic, the five most popular causes people have specified in their will to receives a legacy donation are charities involved in cancer, animals, health, international aid and religion, according to Farewill’s data.

Mr Garrett concluded: “It means these organisations will receive much-needed funding for years to come.”

Craig Fordham, director of operational delivery and legacies at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “At Macmillan, legacy giving is the biggest part of our fundraising mix and has become even more important right now, given other fundraising activities like events and public collections have had to be paused.

“The public have been incredibly generous, and we’ve seen a big increase in the number of people interested in leaving a gift to Macmillan in their will.

“We’re hugely appreciative of the way people have continued to support charities, particularly when many find themselves in difficult circumstances right now.”