Change to legacies service could cost charities millions, warns membership body

22 Feb 2019 News

The Institute of Legacy Management (ILM) has warned that charities could face delays in accessing tens of millions of pounds because of changes to the wills notification system this year.

Last month, HM Courts and Tribunals Service announced that it would end its current arrangement with private firm Smee & Ford, which charges charities for a service that alerts them when money has been left to them in someone’s will, at the end of July.

It is now working with charity stakeholders including Acevo, NCVO, the Institute of Fundraising and the Institute of Legacy Management to create a new system.

But the ILM has now warned that if a system is not put in place by the end of July, it could mean charities face delays in accessing tens of millions of pounds that has been donated to them.

'Could have a hugely detrimental effect'

The organisation said: “Both ILM and its members are particularly concerned that there might not be a new service in place when the Smee & Ford contract expires in under six months.

“This could have a hugely detrimental effect on charitable spend and the ability of charities to help the good causes they support.

“Although the legacy income will reach them eventually, the accounts for 2019 would be reduced and it would not be prudent for the charity to assume this income would arrive so they would need to adjust plans for charitable spend accordingly.”

ILM said it is drafting a submission regarding a new service to the Ministry of Justice, who it will meet along with other stakeholders in early March.

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Editor's note - 22 February 15.00

This story originally included figures from ILM relating to Cancer Research UK and Macmillan. Civil Society News has removed reference to these figures after they were retracted by ILM. 


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