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Swedish parliament, the Riksdag, has called on its national government to accelerate work towards establishing a voluntary register of wills. The announcement of the forthcoming register, which intends to protect people’s final wishes, has been widely welcomed by Swedish nonprofits.
Rebecka Winell, Head of Major Gifts at the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation (Barncancerfonden), says:
“The Swedish Parliament’s decision is a big step that I have long hoped for. Every year, the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation loses large sums of money because the original will can’t be found. A register will make it much easier to obtain it and remove the risk of the will disappearing or even be destroyed (by malice or by accident).
“It will be a voluntary register, but charities can encourage everyone who makes an enquiry about leaving a gift in their will, that they send their will to the register once it is in place.”
Charitable gifts in wills raised more than 1.6 billion SEK (€156 million EUR) for good causes in Sweden in 2019 (up from 1.1 billion SEK in 2018), but it is believed that this figure could be considerably higher if information about wills was transparent and accessible through such a register.
Charlotte Rydh, Secretary General of Give Sweden (Giva Sverige), adds:
“A public will register will offer greater security for people who want to ensure that their last will is respected and a guarantee for nonprofit organisations that gifts that were meant to go to them end up where they were intended.
“Now we hope that the government listens to the Riksdag and speeds up the work of getting a register in place.”