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Private Client Section

Research sheds new light on charitable legacies

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New research launched today at the Law Society of England and Wales provides valuable insights into how solicitors can help their clients use their wills to support charities.

Commissioned by Remember A Charity and conducted by the Behavioural Insights Team (‘Nudge Unit’) and the University of Bristol, the research has examined the way that solicitors raise the issue of clients leaving money to charity in their wills. It highlights the impact of different approaches and how these produce different results in charitable giving.

The research was conducted using randomised control trials in eight firms of solicitors around the United Kingdom. It tested a range of ways of raising the subject of charitable giving, and shows the different results that each produces.

Findings of note from the report include that:

  • Solicitors felt able to raise the issue of leaving money to charity in discussions with their clients comfortably and appropriately;
  • Clients who were told that many people bequest money to charity in their wills were 40% more likely to do so themselves when writing their first will; and
  • Clients with families may be more inclined to leave a legacy when asked if they wanted to leave to charities that their family had previously supported or benefitted from.


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