Fifteen percent of Finns have now made a Will and 40% have considered doing so, according to new research on legacy giving in Finland, with 9% of those interested in remembering a charity in their Wills.
In 2014 when the legacy giving campaign started in Finland it was estimated that 10% had made a Will and less than one percent was interested in leaving a legacy.
With Wills made predominantly by people over the age of 65, who are highly educated and retired, by far the most important reason for making a Will is to decide how property should be distributed (70%). Other key reasons are to provide for family and friends (32%) and for tax planning on behalf of heirs (23%).
When it comes to charitable causes likely to be included in their Will, Finns are most interested in supporting disease treatment and health promotion (25%), the wellbeing of children and young people in Finland (23%) and nature conservation (21%). Wellbeing of the elderly (18%), science and education (17%) and animal welfare (17%) are also popular, while women under the age of 35 are more likely to make a more values-led decision about a legacy gift.
“Legacy giving causes are very similar to those Finns support during their lifetime. It is gratifying that as many as 9%, or more than 380,000 Finns, are interested in remembering a charity in their Wills. In Finland non-profit organisations do not pay inheritance tax, which can be part of the tax planning related to Wills,” said Pia Tornikoski from Finnish fundraising association VaLa.
The first ‘Free Wills month’ will be launched in Finland this November. It will see the charity sector, including VaLa, and The Finnish Bar Association working together to promote legacy giving. The Finnish Bar Association represents around 2,200 attorneys in Finland and celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2019.
Mr Jarkko Ruohola, President of The Finnish Bar Association said:
“To us, responsibility means not only improving the judicial conditions in Finland, but setting an example for responsible operations. We support partners, such as Amnesty International, with free visibility and campaigns. Many attorneys also do a lot of pro bono work and our co-operation with The Finnish Fundraising Association is a natural continuation of this. We are setting up a campaign where attorneys can sign up as volunteers for drawing up Wills where a member of the Fundraising Association is a beneficiary, which will run through November 2019.”
The campaign will also remind people to use experts when writing their final Will to avoid any misunderstandings and disputes.