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9 September 2019 | Comment |

Legacy giving myths: If I leave a gift to charity, I’ll be contacted to make donations

One of the main reasons so many people in the UK die without a will is because they have put off writing a will. Everyone will need a will, but there can always be an excuse to leave it for another time. We often hear that people are too busy to come into the office or feel that they might change their mind in future so wouldn’t want to go through it all again.

There are many misconceptions around making a will, from how to go about getting in touch with a lawyer to start the will writing process to what should, or shouldn’t, be included in a will.

The times of having to make an appointment to see a solicitor to make a will are long gone. With advances in technology, people can now use law firms’ online or telephone will writing services as well as the traditional face to face meeting.

At Hugh James, we offer several service methods for will writing – online, telephone and in person options. For more information visit our wills service page.

One query which comes up quite often when people discuss their wishes for their wills, is whether the people or charities they want to benefit on their death will be made aware that they have been included in the will. Particularly in relation to charities, there is a worry that they may be contacted to make donations in their lifetime. Solicitors have a duty of confidentiality to their clients, and so without a client’s consent we cannot discuss any details about their will to anyone else.

A client can choose to speak with a charity about their intended gift, and often people leave a gift in their will to charities they support on a regular basis. Legacies in wills can be a significant part of the monies received by charities, and so are instrumental in a charity progressing its aims and objectives.

The way in which a charity can use information about a donor must comply with current data protection regulations, and in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The legislation provides protection for individuals, so that people can feel confident that any information they do provide to a charity about their gifting will be handled properly.

There are additional provisions related to fundraising, campaigning and promotional activities carried out by charities which mean that they fall within the definition of direct marketing. The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations place additional restrictions on direct electronic marketing. This means that, with some exceptions, promotional marketing through emails, text messages and recorded telephone calls should only be carried out with the individual’s consent. Of course, people can confirm that they do not wish to be contacted for any direct marketing at all.

Get in touch with our Wills team to discuss leaving a legacy gift.

Remember A Charity Week

Remember A Charity Week is an opportunity to take a moment and consider leaving a gift in your Will to charity, after taking care of family and loved ones. Hugh James is proud to support the week. As part of that we are publishing a series of blogs about charitable legacy giving. Follow @HughJamesLegal on Twitter to keep up to date with all our posts.

This year’s ‘Remember A Charity’ campaign includes a series of ‘How to’ videos hosted by former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis, who answers common questions about leaving a gift in your Will. The campaign also features a new advert that’s inspired by an iconic 70s science show.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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