By James Antoniou, Head of Wills, Co-op Legal Services

Charity and fundraising are at the heart of what we do. It’s in our DNA. But did you know you can leave a gift to charity in your will? It doesn’t have to be cash gifts – people have left entire estates, luxury items, cars and collectibles to charities close to their hearts.

For the past seven years, we’ve championed Remember a Charity Week which looks to remind the people about the possibility of gifting charities in their wills. Every year, £2.8billion is raised through it which makes an incredible difference to vulnerable people across the UK. Imagine how much more could be raised if everyone left something.

Guitars, a bar of gold and a mini

In our most recent research, we’ve found charitable donations in wills increased by 56% in the past 12 months and from mid-March to June, throughout the peak of the pandemic, this increased by an incredible 81%.

Cancer charities top the list for the third year running when it comes to legacy gifting. This year, local causes, animal, international and children’s charities rounded out the top five. 

Whilst it’s more common for people to leave cash amounts to charities, there have also been some rather unusual gifts left for charities in wills in the past 12 months, including:

  1. Classic red Mini car
  2. A collection of guitars 
  3. Dental equipment
  4. A bar of gold
  5. 2008 Bailey Ranger Caravan

It’s moving to see that, even in such difficult times for many, people are still interested and gifting in their wills – this increase in generosity will make a huge difference to charitable causes.

Remember a charity

We all experience life very differently and have many individual challenges to overcome. Whatever illness or struggles you’ve experienced or witnessed, there may come a time when we all benefit by there being charities to offer help and support.

Furthermore, the pandemic has badly impacted many charities ability to fundraise, so if you’re passionate about any charities close to your heart, I would wholeheartedly recommend putting a will in place and consider the gift of giving. No matter how big or small the contribution, we can help make a huge difference to others with the peace of mind that everything will be taken care of.

With Co-op’s Remember A Charity discount, customers can get up to 20% off Co-op’s Will Writing Services with prices starting from only £99 + VAT (£118.80) for a standard single Will or £169 + VAT (£202.80) for standard mirror Wills using this link.