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Privacy Information for Legacy Administration

Last updated 25th May 2018

Compassion in World Farming occasionally receives gifts from donors in their Wills – sometimes known as legacy gifts or bequests. In order to meet our legal requirements, we as a charity need to carry out correspondence with relevant parties during the administration of an estate. This is often referred to as ‘legacy administration’.

Legacy administration relates to the communication between a charity and a personal executor after a donor has died and left a gift to charity, to ensure that the donor’s wishes are carried out and respected according to the details in their Will.

We as a charity will communicate to the executors, solicitors and any other parties that are involved in the distribution of assets, including other charity co-beneficiaries. Such correspondence includes thanking the donor’s family and friends, and asking and answering questions relating to the distribution of their assets. This is a sensitive process and one that we always carry out with the utmost levels of tact, respect and gratitude.

As part of this process we need to collect, hold and use personal data relating to a number of individuals. Data is held securely, retained for only as long as is necessary, and processed in a lawful way in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and Data Protection Act 2018.

  1. We collect personal information about:
    • Solicitor or lay executors;
    • Other named beneficiaries mentioned in a Will;
    • Next of kin and/or family members that we will want to thank or report to on the progress of a legacy gift;
    • Employees of organisations that we need to communicate with during the administration process. For example, charity legacy officers and solicitor employees.
  2. Personal data is collected from:
    • Copies of Wills;
    • Third parties, such as Smee & Ford (a company that advises charities if they have been named in the Will of a deceased person);
    • Communication with executors, solicitors and any other professional third party during the legacy administration process;
    • Other charities who are administering a legacy in respect of the same Will;
    • The public domain.
  3. The types of personal information that we may collect, store and use as part of the legacy administration process include:
    • Names and addresses;
    • Telephone, email, internet, fax, instant messenger or other contact details;
    • Details of any correspondence entered into;
    • Co-beneficiaries’ level of entitlement to any gifts or share of an estate.

      NB – We usually do not collect sensitive personal information such as health status, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation for example, unless it can be proven to be pertinent to the legacy case and there is a clear reason for doing so.
  4. We will use personal information to carry out our legacy administration in line with best practice standards. We will process information on one of the following legal bases:
    • Where the data subject has provided their consent;
    • Where the processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation. For example, charities have a legal entitlement to any legacy gifts they are given and are accountable to the Charity Commission under Charity Law to ensure the money is received and used according to their charitable purposes;
    • Where necessary for the purpose of our legitimate interests, except where such interests are overridden by the interests, rights or freedoms of the data subject.

      Where our relationship with an executor or next of kin is solely related to the legacy administration process, we will not use personal data to send marketing (campaigning or fundraising) communications without express consent.
  5. We will hold personal information on our systems for as long as is necessary for the relevant activity. For example we are required to keep a record of information relating to legacies for 7 years.

    We may need to keep information for a longer period in certain circumstances – for example, where we have an interest in an asset that someone else is entitled to live in/benefit from during their lifetime. In these situations we will ensure we only retain information that is required and relevant to the specific situation.

For further information about how Compassion in World Farming uses and looks after personal information, please read our Privacy Policy.


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If you have any further questions regarding this, or any other matter, please get in touch with us at We aim to respond to all queries within two working days. However, due to the high volume of correspondence that we receive, it may occasionally take a little longer. Please do bear with us if this is the case. Alternatively, if your query is urgent, you can contact our Supporter Engagement Team on +44 (0)1483 521 953 (lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm).