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We’ve just finished this year’s project and had a great day discussing all things legacies with our fantastic Dutch clients. Now in its seventh year, our Dutch consortium has grown to 23 charities, including the Royal Guide Dog Fund, Cancer Foundation KWF, Salvation Army and Dierenbescherming (a leading Dutch animal charity).

Together, our Dutch Consortium members received €138m legacy income and 3,000 bequests last year, equating to around a third of the total market.

It was great to meet in person and, it was fascinating to hear that many of the challenges being faced in the Netherlands are similar to those in the UK but against a different backdrop.

Did you know…

  • Dutch donors spread their giving over many organisations. Forty or even more is not exceptional! Legators choose to share their estate with an average of only non-profits, the same as in the UK
  • Many local church communities are sustained by their members, not by the state. In the past, a large amount of donations and legacies used to go to the church, but secularisation made a substantial proportion shift to other causes
  • The percentage of legacies given to international aid charities is more than double the UK figure
  • Dutch legators are far more likely to opt for younger organisations than British legators, with most legacies going to charities founded after World War Two
  • Only public notaries can prepare wills. This makes will making costly and adds an extra obstacle
  • The UK has testamentary freedom. But in the Netherlands, children can only be partially disinherited and can claim up to 50% of their original share of the estate
  • Since 2004, charitable bequests are no longer taxed. The tax rate outside the core family can be as high as 40%, and this is a strong motivator for legacy giving

The consortium of 23 leading legacy charities showed a remarkable growth of 23% in 2020.

This growth is partly due to excess mortality from Covid-19. But it’s also because a larger proportion of those people have left a gift in their will – again like trends we’ve seen in the UK.

Legacy Foresight research in the Netherlands shows that increasing numbers of people have a will. Importantly, the share of baby boomers’ legacies is growing. Dutch Baby boomers are wealthier, are more positive about making a bequest and are more often child-free. Finally, we believe that marketing efforts over the past few decades to encourage leaving a gift in a Will has had a positive effect.

Unlike the situation in the UK, Covid-19 does not appear to have a negative effect on the legacy administration.

Legacy Foresight also forecasts growth for the next decade. For 2021, this will be more than 8% due primarily to a higher rate of mortality. If we look a little further, we expect the main economic drivers of legacies (house prices and equities/stock price) to continue to perform well.

For 2021, we expect 8% growth in income from estates, which will then weaken. The average expectation for the period 2020 – 2029 is a growth of 2.5% per year.

Request a copy of the Snapshot Report (in Dutch). For more information on the Dutch Legacy Monitor, contact Arjen van Ketel or Richard Hill.