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Recent legacy data analysis by Smee and Ford indicates that charitable income from gifts in wills was down slightly in 2019, the first decline in a decade.  The total amount received was £2.9 billion compared to £3 billion the previous year. However, research from the consultancy Legacy Foresight estimates that the general trend will be for gifts left to charities in wills to increase over the period to 2045 with the total income from legacies then expected to be approximately £10 billion.  The reasons for the expected growth include the charitable nature of affluent baby boomers and the rise in the number of people dying without children.

Despite these large overall figures, our own experience is that the majority of clients do not include gifts to charities in their wills. This can be for very good reasons, for example because family members are in need of maximum financial assistance, and in many cases the client may not have a particularly close association with any specific charity. But sometimes clients just haven’t really considered leaving a gift to charity and if they were to do so maybe some would think differently.  Most charities will be the first to say that they are not looking to take the place of family members; rather they simply ask that a testator at least considers leaving a legacy to a favourite charity after they have provided sufficiently for their relatives in their will.

And there can be significant advantages in doing so which, in the end, benefit both parties. Notably, any gift to charity on death is free of inheritance tax; and if a client intends to give 10% or more of their estate to charity, the amount of inheritance tax charged on the rest of their estate reduces from 40% to 36%. It’s actually possible, in certain cases, for family members to receive more from the estate after tax if the deceased decides to leave a generous gift to charity. Jon Grogan Partner

For more information or advice please contact Jon Grogan at

Originally from East Yorkshire, Jasmine moved to the North East to study Law at Northumbria, graduating with a First Class Honours and a Very Competent in the Bar Professional Training Course. Before joining Alderson Law Jasmine specialised in RTA Fraud in a Personal Injury firm.

She joined our team as a Family Law Paralegal in 2018, after which she undertook the Legal Practice Course at the University of Sunderland and became a Trainee Solicitor in March 2020. In her spare time Jasmine likes visiting the beach and watching live music.

Julie is a highly experienced property solicitor. Born and bred in the North East, Julie worked at national and international firms prior to joining the team at Alderson Law in 2017. She works alongside her clients, advising on residential and commercial property development, property investment, portfolio management, property finance, landlord and tenant, easements and restrictive covenants.

Fiona is a specialist private client lawyer providing advice and assistance with wills, trusts, tax planning, probate & estate administration, lasting powers of attorney, court of protection and elderly client work. Having previously worked with a number of Newcastle-based firms listed in The Legal 500, Fiona brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role. She is a full member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), the association for specialists in family inheritance and succession planning.

Fiona grew up in Northern Ireland and studied law at Durham University, and has remained in the North East ever since. She enjoys spending time with her family at their cottage in Northumberland.

Mark Hipkin, partner at Alderson Law LLP, has been involved in advising motorcyclists and motorcycle businesses for over 25 years.

Mark is a biker himself (currently riding a 1981 Triumph Bonneville) and offers full legal support for all motorcycle-related matters, including personal injury, business/employment, family/matrimonial, and child law. Mark is committed to running even the most complex cases to the end and getting the best results.

At Alderson Law we run a dedicated claims department tailored specifically for bikers who have been involved in an accident. We deal with your legal expenses cover (and can be appointed as a panel solicitor on your case, providing you call us first before contacting your insurer) and offer a sympathetic, responsive, and informed legal advice line for bikers, scooterists and cyclists.

Having worked in family law for over 25 years, Julie is a highly accomplished specialist in her field. She has a vast body of experience in dealing with family law, from divorce and related financial issues to complex child-related cases. Julie was the first person in North Tyneside to achieve the status of an accredited advanced family law specialist, and is a member of the Law Society Advanced Family Panel, which demonstrates her experience in complex contested family cases and other subject-specific matters.

Though multi-talented and highly experienced, Julie’s particular speciality is in complex ancillary relief (financial settlement) claims and complex residence and contact disputes.

In her spare time Julie enjoys relaxing and spending time with her family and three grandchildren. She attends clients at our Whitley Bay and Blythe offices.

Tracey is one of our Partners and qualified as a solicitor in 1997. Throughout her career she has had a varied caseload undertaking matters in most areas of civil and private client law. Tracey can assist clients in a wide range of matters including: Wills, Probate, Powers of Attorney, Debt Recovery, Residential and Commercial Conveyancing as well as Licensing and Landlord and Tenant matters.

Tracey is one of our most senior practitioners with over 20 years of local experience, having graduated from both Newcastle University and Northumbria University. When not in the office she enjoys walking, cycling, and cooking with her family.