Prague, Sept 11 (CTK) – The number of the Czechs who decided to bequeath their property or its part to charity in their testament has been steadily growing, reaching 22 people and 23.9 million crowns worth of bequeathed property last year, according to a survey the Coalition for Easy Donorship presented on Monday.

September 13 is the International Legacy Day.

One quarter of the 80 surveyed NGOs have gained some property based on someone’s testament in the past ten years.

“At the beginning, the issue seemed difficult and taboo to me, However, my personal experience has shown that all people with whom I negotiated feel huge relief after settling their property affairs. Most of them are at an advanced age. At the end of their path, they try to remove a few boulders that are burdening them. Property is one of them,” Tomas Vyhnalek, spokesman for the Testament Helps campaign, told a press conference.

The Coalition for Easy Donorship associates 33 organisations including the Salvation Army, the Amnesty International, the Doctors without Frontiers, Diaconia, Junak – Czech Scout, SOS Children’s Villages and others.

The organisers follow a British example.

In Britain, 13 percent of all gifts going to NGOs are bequeathed to them through testaments.

Czech charity projects received a total of 2.1 million crowns through testaments in 2006.

The sum tended to steadily rise in the past years. An exception was the year 2014 when a one-off 60-million-crown gift went to charity based on a testament.

In 2014, a total of 17 donors bequeathed a total of 72.1 million crowns for charity purposes.

The Good Will Committee – Olga Havlova Foundation is one of the NGOs partly financed through gifts.

“We annually gain seven to ten gifts based on a testament. We thus gained real estate, movable items and copyrights worth more than 100 million crowns in the past 20 years. Unfortunately, we have no information about most of the donors. We only learn from a notary that someone bequeathed something to us,” said the foundation’s director, Monika Granja.

The foundation uses the gifts to help seniors and disabled people.

If people leave no testament behind and die without a heir, their property is inherited by the state, which also inherits the property rejected by heirs.

The Office for Government Representation in Property Affairs (UZSVM) annually handles some 1,700 escheat cases involving property worth about 250 million crowns. This property, however, sometimes includes debts that must be settled.

People can see information about the above campaign on www.zavetpomaha.cz.