Good Practice Guidance

ILM and our members share a vision to ensure every generous donor’s final wishes achieve their greatest potential. Legacy management is not an end in itself; it’s an opportunity to ensure the final wishes of generous donors help to create the positive change they wanted to see in the world. Donors have placed their trust in us. As such, it’s our duty as legacy professionals to fulfil their final wishes in a timely manner, and to optimise the positive impact these gifts have for charities and their beneficiaries.

The ILM Good Practice Guidance establishes a set of five core principles for legacy professionals, offering an ethical framework for the sector:

* Sensitivity

* Transparency

* Integrity

* Collaboration

* Informed

These principles reflect the key challenges faced by legacy professionals and act as an ethical framework for our work.

In addition, the detailed Guidance Notes further set out ways in which these principles can be applied to different areas of our work.

The Good Practice Guidance is intended to reflect and inspire our members’ commitment to fulfilling donors’ final wishes.

We developed the guidance with a taskforce of professionals from across the legacy management field, and in collaboration with its members, to share best practice in areas ranging from communication with lay executors, solicitors and other charity beneficiaries, to tax considerations, and possible claims against an estate.

Click on the links below to read the relevant sections of the guidance. If you are an ILM member, you can also access the Guidance toolkit in the members only area of this site. If you are not yet a member, find out how to join us here.

We received a lot of positive media coverage for the launch of the guidance, which you can see here. We have also published a video that was filmed at the launch event, that you can view here.

We want the guidance to evolve over time, and we welcome your feedback and comments. If you have any questions about the guidance, or would like to make any comments of suggestions, please email 



Our principles

Initial communications after notification of gifts

Working with lay executors

Working with solicitors

Working with multiple charities

Income recognition and accruals


Claims against the estate

Communications following receipt of gift