This initiative aims to encourage a further four per cent of the British population leave charitable legacy and by doing so raising 1 billion a year for charity.
Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, welcomes the new partnership. Co-operative Legal Services will provide the legal services, while Remember A Charity, representing over 140 charities, will serve as a charity database for those who have not decided which charity is right for them.
Ian Mackie, Sales & Marketing Director of Co-operative Legal Services, said: “This is a new and exciting partnership for us, and we are committed to developing our Will writing service to make it easier for customers to leave a charitable gift through a range of measures.
“Although many people are willing to leave a legacy to charity, currently only one in four solicitors or Will-writers discuss this option with their customers.
“We believe that our easy to use service, coupled with the moves being made to champion legacies and our partnership with Remember A Charity can make a real difference to charities across the UK. In order to encourage this change, we are testing variations to the Will-writing process to establish which is the most effective way of encouraging people to leave a legacy gift.”
Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, said the initiative could be a great step forward for the charity sector. “We are thrilled to be working with The Co-operative Legal Services and the Cabinet Office. Most charities couldn’t exist if it weren’t for the generous gifts left to them in people’s Wills. We hope that this partnership will encourage more people to write a Will and take care of their loved ones and favourite charities.”
On 24 May 2012 The Co-operative Group announced plans to create 3,000 jobs in the legal sector as it continues to expand the range of services available to UK consumers. Dave Smith, Public Relations Manager of The Co-operative Group said that The Co-operative Group’s extension to legal services has been a successful move.
“We believe that the presence of The Co-operative’s trusted brand and values, together with a combination of first class products and services, will provide customers with greater accessibility to expert legal advice and better value for money,” Mr Smith said.
The Co-operative Legal Services was established in 2006 as part of The Co-operative Group and is dedicated to widening and easing public access to legal provision. It became the first high-street consumer brand to be granted an Alternative Business Structure (ABS) status earlier this year.
“When the Legal Services Act was first drafted it was envisaged that its enactment would enable consumer brands to enter the closed world of legal services, so when the Co-operative Legal Services was granted an ABS license earlier this year it was an historic occasion not only for the Co-operative Legal Services but for all customers needing access to legal services in the UK.
“This move is a natural extension to the range of professional services we currently provide within The Co-operative which includes banking, pharmacy and Funeral care,” Dave Smith added.
The Co-operative Legal Services is a national legal services provider, with legal experts available to help and advise on a range of legal issues. Its services cover the writing of Wills, Family Law, helping to manage the affairs of the deceased, buying and selling your home, legal assistance with accidents & personal injuries and employment claims.
Free legal advice is provided with these services without obligation and in complete confidence. Free legal advice across other aspects of the law is offered to members of The Co-operative Group.
In 2011 The Co-operative Legal Services won the Legal Industry Pioneer Award for its dedication to pursuing alternative business models or new ways of delivering legal services.