Online wills specialist urges small charities to boost legacy donations

ONLINE wills specialist is urging smaller charities to reach out to potential fundraisers by embracing the technology available to them to make leaving a legacy simpler for everyone.

FreeWills has helped over 100,000 people write their wills for free, whilst leaving a legacy to causes they care about.

They have supported over 2000 charities since being set up in 2018, ranging from international aid agencies and children’s charities to local emergency services.

However, as founder Carl Christensen explains, as the bigger budgets of the larger causes continue to dominate the media and awareness amongst the general public, smaller causes are often overlooked in legacies, despite being close to so many people’s hearts.

He said:

“It is a real shame that so many hugely deserving causes tend to miss out on legacy donations purely because of a lack of awareness of being able to donate to them.

“Many of them lack the time or the resources to generate the campaigns that the bigger players can launch and maintain so Small Charity Week plays a really important role here.

“The key thing now is for those smaller causes to continue the momentum that awareness weeks like this can help to generate and to explore ways that they can remain front of mind. If they do that and combine it with platforms such as ours, they can begin to punch above their weight when it comes to legacy donations.”

Carl founded FreeWills in 2018 with a simple mission, to create a positive impact that benefits both legacy donors and a wide range of charities.

Since then, FreeWills has shown remarkable growth, with the number of wills written increasing year on year, with 4,000 in March 2024 alone – the firm’s busiest month ever.

In late 2023, FreeWills reached a major milestone, having helped charities to benefit from charitable gifting through wills on the FreeWills website to the tune of £100 million.

Carl discusses the rise in legacy donations:

“We have over 2000 good causes being donated to now and over 400 partner charities who are all benefitting from these essential donations but there is clearly an opportunity for greater progress here, after all, something like 60% of UK adults still do not have a written will.

“That is alarming from a financial planning perspective but it is understandable. Wills and end-of-life planning are not exactly the most frequent or casual of dinner table conversations but we hope that as more people learn that they can give back to the cause they care for after they have gone, this might change.”

FreeWills was built with extensive input from will-writing experts and is 100% free – it is even possible to create a new will to replace an old one, at no charge.

Carl attributes FreeWills’ success to its proprietary will-writing software, which has been developed in-house with contributions from legal experts. That unique platform, combining legal expertise with user-friendly technology, ensures that the process of writing a will is accessible to everyone.

Carl concluded:

“There is a huge variety of great causes out there and we have helped many hundreds of charities with a free Gifts In Wills offering. Some of these charities are small in comparison to the household names but that is the beauty of this service because legacy donations shouldn’t just be reserved for the big boys.

“They get all the media attention and they have the advertising budgets but it is nice to know that by working with us, even the smallest organisations can truly benefit from the kindness of people who want to support them.”