A snapshot from the ILM


Friday 6th May marked the long-awaited ILM (Institute of Legacy Managers) conference in two years. With the event being cancelled due to the pandemic it was refreshing to be back in a room, chatting, mingling and sipping on some seriously juicy smoothies with a mix of charities, legal suppliers and lawyers.

As we start to raise our profile in the charity legacy area it was absolutely essential that we got ourselves on the attendee list. Recently recruited to head up our Charity Legacy Disputes Team Hannah Brittain (an ILM old timer) headed down to London and took along Lindsay Gibson, our Head of Marketing (an ILM first timer) to check it all out.

The general flow of the day was relaxed yet informative with a string of interesting sessions, that included audience participation, blue sky thinking and the odd ‘slido’ quiz!

What did we learn?

Legacy Foresight took to the stage with an insightful overview into the future of legacy giving.  Their Economist discussed various scenarios around what the future holds for legacy gifting. The general theme was ‘uncertainty’ which tied in heavily with the future of the economy. Citing issues such as the Russia and Ukraine war, and the effect that will have, as well as the cost of living crisis and soaring energy costs.

They also covered the notion of ‘uncertainty’ when it comes to legacy giving, and dealing with estate administration delays. An increase in bequests is apparent as the number of grants increase from the Probate Registry, whilst this is all good, delays at the HMRC regarding inheritance tax processes can again slow the engine.

However, even when we take all of these scenarios into account, the future for legacy giving still remains bright, with those leaving a gift to charities in their will expecting to double by 2050.


Key takeaways from Hannah coming out of the panel discussions relating to legacy disputes:…

  • Beware of a Letter of Claim that includes too many claims and is requesting mediation prematurely, this usually means that the case is weak;
  • A robust letter from a solicitor offering the claimant a nuisance payment is sometimes better than protracted and costly correspondence;
  • “Never sue a man made of straw” and end up with a worthless judgment. Firstly, instruct an enquiry agent to report on the financial standing of the potential Defendant. Be wary of nominee names and offshore accounts;
  • When a Charity is alerted to a gift left to it in a Will, they should ask questions of the executor and carry out some basic checks – review the estate accounts for discrepancies, question any legal costs that have been incurred particularly if they appear high, similarly if the costs are too low, ask why? If there have been errors made by the executor they should not charge for correcting their mistakes.

What’s next?

We’ll certainly be back next year (if not just for the smoothies!) and as part of our ongoing mission to break into the legacy area we are very excited that Matthew Lagden, CEO from the ILM will be taking part in the June episode of the IDR Talk podcast.

Hannah will join him covering off some key topics when it comes to charity legacy including:

  • What are charity legacies and why do they matter?
  • The ILM, who are they, what do their members do?
  • What types of claims can members face?

Going forward we’ll be sharing some of our content with the ILM and them with us, which is great news for our IDRN members. To get us started the institute have sent over a detailed factsheet aimed at professional executors, outlining the information needed from them when dealing with an estate.


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