This article was written in 2018 and relates to Wills Month of that year, therefore much of the information within this article relates to the period up until 2018. For the latest news and updates, please visit our News pages.

In 2018 Devon Air Ambulance turned 26 years old. Over the years we have attended almost 26,000 missions, assisting patients from all walks of life; their only confirmed similarity is their shared south west geography when the incident took place.

Between the years 2012-2016, legacy income to charities grew by 6.5%*, in part due to a shifting demographic. An increase of legacy income particular to Devon Air Ambulance is perhaps to be anticipated in a charity that has touched the lives of so many over almost three decades. 

We feel very fortunate to have been chosen by those who are keen that their legacy makes a lasting impact on others with whom they have shared a county. Those who leave money to Devon Air Ambulance in their wills understand that anyone could be in need of our service, at any time.

Forecasts and views in the legacy sector can be fairly varied and forecasts can differ, but generally speaking, researchers anticipate a slow-down in legacy income.

Some surprising stats

Our medics respond to life and death situations every day. They are arguably more aware than most of the impact that wills and legacies have in enabling them to do their essential work. 

A recent survey, conducted by Toby Scott of Dying matters for Hospicecare, examined public attitudes towards death and dying, and uncovered some interesting statistics:

  • 15% of those surveyed felt that talking about death will make it happen.
  • 45% of respondents felt that end of life planning makes death feel closer
  • 45% of people asked also felt fearful talking about death

These feelings and beliefs can make many people feel reticent about writing or revisiting a will. 

Getting plans in place is a gift to your family and loved ones

Although 64% of people are comfortable talking about death, 73% think that others aren’t happy talking about it. In other words, we want to talk about it, but we don't out of politeness. This reticence can mean we avoid making important end-of-life plans.

But most of us are conscious that having a legal professional write your will can significantly minimise complexity following a death. A loss is difficult enough for those left behind without the added legal challenges of there being no clear instruction.

It's easier to change an existing plan than to start from scratch

Often people mistakenly believe that if they want to change their will then they must have it written again.

When people rewrite their wills completely, gifts previously left to charities can sometimes be forgotten. If you are keen to remember the charity that is important to you, or add new causes to your will, then there is professional help available that can help you to bring an existing will up to date.

A legacy can leave a lasting positive impact on those individuals, families and communities serve. 

Find out more about supporting Devon Air Ambulance in your Will.

*according to research by Meg Abdy, Development Director at the Institute of Legacy Management