6 lessons from digital will-writing


6 lessons from digital will-writing

Digital will-writing company Farewill has shared some findings on the kind of people who have written wills using their service, and their attitudes to leaving a gift to charity. 

Farewill has analysed “thousands of wills” written using its digital service since 2016 and has shared some of its findings.

1. Cat owners are more generous than dog owners

Cat owners are three times more generous legacy donors than dog owners. They also leave 1.2 times more gifts to charity in their wills than their canine-loving counterparts.

2. If it’s Wednesday…

The best day for a charity to ask for a legacy is a Wednesday. People are 1.5 times more likely to leave a gift to charity if they write their will mid-week.

3. Let it rain

The weather also plays a role with many people opting to leave a legacy on rainy Sunday afternoons.

4. Funeral wishes boost giving

Remember a Charity celebrated unusual funeral wishes in a campaign

People are twice as likely to leave a gift to charity if they include funeral wishes in their will. Farewill put this down to “the emotional engagement with the product, rather than an exercise in legal compliance”.

5. Online speeds up will-writing

60% of people writing their will online complete it on that day, “rather than weeks or months down the line”.

6. Generosity of the young

Younger legators are more generous, with gift sizes in the 35-44 year-old age range on average being twice as large as the 65+ year-old bracket.

Dan Garrett, CEO at Farewill said: “Understanding data trends can offer charities valuable insights into donor behaviour that can be used to increase the number and value of gifts, and reach out to new audiences. Digital will-making services are perfect for this type of analysis due to the volume of data that is captured at the time of the will being written.”

Farewill also claim that their stastistics show the effectiveness of their service.

  • Freewill services result in charities raising six times as much as discounted offers, as more people take up the offer and the donations tend to be larger.
  • Around 80% of gifts made on Farewill are residuary (i.e. the legacy is the money and property that remains after other amounts of money or property is given to others)
  • Almost a third (28%) of wills made on Farewill include a gift to charity, which is “two times the industry standard”. The average charitable will names 2.2 beneficiary organisations.
  • Since March 2017, Farewill customers have pledged £37m for good causes.
  • Legacy income up 5.1% in 2017 according to Legacy Foresight figures (22 February 2018)
  • Charities minister asks solicitors to support legacy giving (7 December 2017)
  • New fast.MAP guide aims to help charities maximise legacy fundraising (1 September 2017)