What will the sector look like in 20 years’ time? Who will be giving? What and how will they give?

We have crunched the numbers and analysed the trends – and we have 10 big predictions for 2045.

1. Double the income. Double the opportunity

UK legacy and in-memory giving will be worth twice as much in real terms as it is today, thanks to a combination of more deaths, more will-making and a higher proportion of people leaving a gift in their will. This growth will be driven by the large and mainly affluent baby boomer generation.

2. Show me the money (and where you spend it)

Baby boomers are shrewd about the money they leave behind. They will want to see the way their money will be spent and the impact it will have. Expect more questioning of the causes they support, and greater ambitions for what their legacy can achieve.

3. Child-free and non-conformist

Nearly one in five women born in the 1960s are child-free. By 2045, this group will account for a significant share of all legacy giving. These child-free donors will be happy to base their legacy decisions on who ‘needs’ and ‘deserves’ their gift the most, be that family, friends or charity.

4. Competition is intense. So let’s split up

Rather than leaving one or two charitable donations, people will choose to split their giving between a mixture of national, local and international causes with football clubs, mosques, temples and local parks to benefit from a share currently reserved for big charities.

5. Online, and on the money

Wills will be created, stored and read online. Films, recordings, texts, even holograms will be accepted as testamentary evidence. People will be able to directly communicate their final wishes to family, friends and lawyers even after they are gone.

6. It’s my (digital) life

Almost all life will be played out in the digital world. Nobody wants those assets to disappear when they die. That means wills and legacies shall include intellectual property, knowledge, skills and connections that will be used by the people who follow.

7. Volunteers are the new revolution

With a longer gap between retirement and death, people will spend more time volunteering, valuing the direct link this gives them to a charity or their community. Volunteering will often influence who people give a gift to in their will or nominate as an in-memory charity.

8. Remember me when I’m gone. Not like that, like this

People will become much happier to talk about death and plan their own passing – including how they want to be remembered. Letters of wishes specifying how the funeral should be organised, along with the charities to support, will become commonplace. Instead of physical memorials some will choose to nominate fitting living memorials, such as training a support dog or funding a child in a developing country.

9. Before I say goodbye…

Thanks to advances in medical technology and the legalisation of euthanasia, some people will know how long they have left to live. They may choose to give a ‘living legacy’ of money, ideas and experiences to the people and organisations they love while they are still around to see the impact.

10. Let’s work together. We can beat this thing

Wealthy individuals will endow borderless legacy funds to address the ongoing social and environmental issues in 2045– from curing disease to tackling inequality to sustaining local communities. They will challenge others to add their gift to the overall pot and maximise combined impact.