Income from legacies increased by 10 per cent in the year to December 2016, according to the latest overview from Legacy Foresight.
The 83 members of the Legacy Monitor Consortium received £1.43bn in legacy income – an increase of 10.3 per cent on the same period in the previous year.
There were 52,300 bequests during the period, slightly down on the previous year.
“The strong growth in income can be attributed to two factors: a higher-than-expected number of deaths and a better-than-feared economic performance,” the report said.
“After a significant spike in winter 2014/15, deaths were expected to drop back sharply in 2016. They did drop – but not nearly as much as predicted. Annual deaths now stand at 600,000; 9 per cent higher than at the start of the decade. The rising death rate has had a significant impact on legacy incomes in recent years, particularly in 2015 and 2016.”
It also said that recovery in share prices and “buoyant economy is helping to drive up residual legacy values, which now stand at £58,400”.