In this edition of Legacies Roundup, we look at recent developments in fundraising, take a look at trends in legacy giving and the family allowance changes, and look back at some of our recent legacy events. We also hope to see you at our upcoming charity legacy property seminar. More details below.

Interesting work

Some of our Charity Legacies, Trusts & Probate Disputes team’s interesting work this month includes advising a faith based charity on a legacy left to it creating permanent endowment and the options for releasing the endowment and advising a charity on a possible challenge to a legacy under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 by the deceased’s nephew.

If you require any advice or assistance with any of your legacies, the team would be happy to hear from you. We offer a free initial ½ hour consultation.

Charity legacy fundraising - recent developments

There have been a number of recent developments in relation to charity fundraising, which will also impact on legacy fundraising.

The review panel led by Sir Stuart Etherington recently published their report “Regulating fundraising for the future:  Trust in charities, confidence in fundraising regulation”.

The headline recommendations include:

  • replacing the FRSB with a new Fundraising Regulator.  All charities that spend over £100,000 a year on fundraising from the public, around 2,000 organisations, would be expected to contribute to the costs of the regulator.  The new Regulator would set the Code of Fundraising Practice and adjudicate against it. Charities which seriously or persistently breach the rules would be named and shamed and could be forced to halt their fundraising until problems are resolved
  • setting up a new Fundraising Preference Service allowing members of the public to opt out of receiving any fundraising communications at all
  • that the IOF and PFRA merge, but that the regulatory aspects of the PFRA’s current work transfers to the new Fundraising Regulator

Rob Wilson MP recently announced that the Government will be implementing all the recommendations made in Sir Stuart’s report.

The suggestion appears to be that the new regulatory framework will have statutory underpinning.

William Shawcross, Chair of the Charity Commission has welcomed this saying “Charities must now step up to reform and strengthen self-regulation, and to show that they can and will put the public interest first. The Charity Commission will play its part to support the development of the new fundraising regulatory body.”

In the meantime, the Institute of Fundraising has announced changes to the Code of Fundraising Practice which are also  likely to impact on legacy fundraisers.

There will be further developments in the coming days and weeks and we will be reporting on these issues as events unfold and commenting on the specific areas that affect legacy fundraising so watch this space.

Family Home Allowance update

In our July update, we mentioned the Government’s recent announcement in its Summer Budget of the introduction of the “family home allowance”, which will allow those who leave their home to direct descendants by Will to benefit from an additional nil rate band amount. This is coming in in the Finance (No 2) Bill 2015 which is currently making its way through Parliament.

This new relief is now likely to be more generous than we first reported. The Bill has been amended to extend the relief to residential property inherited by the spouse or civil partner of a direct descendant and where the descendant is given an interest in the property through a trust in certain circumstances. There are also additional provisions which will help where an individual has downsized.

Charitable giving remains high

Although we will need to wait a little before we can assess the full impact of the review panel’s report, the governments’ approach and recent press attention on charity fundraising and charity legacy cases like Ilott v Mitson, recent studies show positive figures for charitable giving.

A recent study by Consumer Intelligence for Cambridge & Counties bank indicates that charitable giving intentions remain high, with over 75% of British adults expecting to donate to charity in 2015 at an average of £110 per person. 

This positive outlook for 2015 follows on from high levels of charitable giving last year, with the South East leading the way (81% of those surveyed donated), closely followed by the South West (80%), the West Midlands (79%), London (78%) and the East Midlands (77%).

According to data collated by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), published in their UK Civil Society Almanac 2015 in June this year, £9 billion was given to voluntary organisations by individual donations and legacies in 2012/13 of which £2 billion was given through legacies.

NCVO’s research also found that legacies are currently concentrated in only a small number of organisations, with legacies received by only 8.4% of organisations in that 2012/13 period. But this all looks set to change according to figures published by Smee & Ford, as reported in the Charity Times, which found that the number of charities receiving legacies rose by 5% last year.

Smee & Ford also reported that annual income from charity legacies rose by 8% during 2014, which is amazing news

There was yet more good news reported in the Civil Society in July about a recent study by Remember A Charity. According to Remember A Charity’s research, around 17% of people surveyed who were aged over 60 said they had included a legacy to charity in their Will, which is up on figures in 2013 research.

This shows what an important role legacies play in supporting the work of charities.

Remember A Charity in your Will Week 2015

Our annual legacy event with Remember A Charity, as part of Remember A Charity in your Will Week 2015 took place earlier this month. It was well attended and stimulated interesting discussion on legacy fundraising in the current climate and how to get everyone at your organisation talking about gifts of legacies.

We were very pleased to welcome guest speaker Alex McDowell, Head of Legacy and Tribute Fundraising at the NSPCC and Chair of Remember A Charity who talked about the legacy market and provided a really interesting insight into legacies from his charity’s perspective.

If you were unable to attend and would like more information, please contact us at legacies@bwbllp.com and we would be pleased to send you a copy of the seminar pack.

If you have colleagues who would like to receive our regular round up please click here.

Event updates

Institute of Fundraising - Legacy Fundraising Summit

Leticia Jennings of BWB’s Charity Legacies, Trusts and Probate Disputes team attended the IoF’s Legacy Fundraising Summit on 14 September 2015. It was an excellent event with a diverse range of speakers, and it was great to see so many of our third sector colleagues there.

Our next event

Charity Property Focus: A practical guide to dealing with property left to charity by Will and trust property | 10th November

We hope to see you at our free charity property breakfast seminar on 10th November where we will be discussing the common issues that come up for our charity clients when dealing with property left to charity by Will as well as property held on trust, including permanent endowment.

More details, indicating  how to book, can be found here.

Robert Oakley photo

Robert Oakley

Partner and Head of Dispute Resolution

+44(0)20 7551 7792 / 07891 143718

View full information about Robert Oakley
Leticia Jennings photo

Leticia Jennings


+44(0)20 7551 7657 / 07791 883095

View full information about Leticia Jennings
Laura Soley photo

Laura Soley


+44(0)20 7551 7768

View full information about Laura Soley

Posted on 22/10/2015 in Legal Updates

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