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'Extreme' solicitors needed to raise charitable gift status

Remember A Charity Week celebrates 'legendary' legacy givers

10 September 2015

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The legal profession has been reminded of the critical role it plays in generating legacy funding for charities by advising clients the benefits of leaving gifts in their wills.

Charitable bequests are the largest single source of voluntary income for charities in the UK, generating more than £2.2bn in 2014.

Backed by government and the Law Society, the Remember A Charity in your Will Week campaign is inviting solicitors to join the existing network of almost 1,000 solicitors and will-writing firms across the UK.

Rob Wilson, minister for civil society, Damien Hinds, exchequer secretary to the treasury, and Paul Wheelhouse MSP, minister for community safety and legal affairs, have jointly written to over 8,700 solicitors across the UK, urging them to highlight the option of leaving a gift to charity to clients.

'The UK government is keen to encourage and facilitate legacy giving,' the ministers said. 'A will can be used to look after everything that your client cares about, from family and friends, to charity.'

Ed Vaizey, the minister of state for culture and the digital economy, has also written to all cultural organisations to encourage them to get involved with the campaign and boost legacy giving during Remember A Charity Week.

Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, said: 'Never before has the campaign achieved so much support from government and the legal profession, and this is critical in extending our reach to new audiences and to achieve social change.

'Our research shows that 35 per cent of the UK are happy to leave a gift in their will, but only 7 per cent currently do. Remember A Charity Week helps to address the disconnect between intention and action.'

Cope added that, in light of the negative portrayal of fundraising, it has never been more important that charities continue to strive for the highest standards.

'Without legacy giving, many charitable services may not survive,' he continued.

The charity's public awareness campaign begins this week with an extreme will-writing campaign documentary. An 'extreme' solicitor and legacy donors sign their wills at 10,000 feet, before skydiving down to land.

This article first appeared in PCA's sister publication, Solicitors Journal

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Charities