This week, over 100 Australian charities will be coming together for Include a Charity Week with the support of Fundraising Institute Australia. The week aims to encourage and support more people to leave charitable gifts in their Wills and will give Australians the opportunity to take a quiz to help them understand their own passion and values and align them with a worthy cause.
“Include a Charity Week raises awareness to millions of Australians how they can consider making their own impact towards a better world by planning for a gift in their Will and investing funds in charities they love,” said Katherine Raskob CEO of Fundraising Institute Australia.
“This year, we are launching an exciting quiz format called What Kind of Legend Are You? for Aussies to consider the kind of impact they want to leave on the world. Are you a legend of love or perhaps compassion? This is your opportunity to understand your ‘legend’ profile and how you can make a difference to a cause you’re passionate about,” said Raskob.
Watch the below video and hear from people who have decided to recognise a charity in their will or that of a family member.
Include a Charity Week runs from 6-12 September this year and was created in 2011 to spark a national conversation with Australians about leaving gifts in their Wills to their favourite causes and the impact their own legacies could make.
Making a Will is an important activity so that in the event of your passing, your loved ones can carry out your wishes. The following are some of the things you will want to consider when drawing up your Will or sharing with people in your care who may want further information about creating a charitable legacy.
LOOKING AFTER YOUR LOVED ONES
Looking after your loved ones will no doubt be your highest priority. Think about who you want to include as beneficiaries of your Estate – it could be siblings, children, nieces and nephews, grandchildren and close friends. If you have children under the age of 18, you will need to decide who you would like to take care of them if you pass away before they reach the age of consent.
WHO WILL HANDLE YOUR AFFAIRS?
The people that you nominate in your Will to handle your affairs after you’re gone are called Executors. It is common and advisable for two people to share the task of executing your Will. They can be friends, family members, professionals or a combination of these.
When choosing an Executor, think about who would be capable of dealing with your affairs. It needs to be someone you trust, who is business-minded and perhaps not a beneficiary in your Will. Alternatively, your Executor/s could be professional advisors but bear in mind that there will be a charge for their services.
In addition to detailing the distribution of your Estate, your Will is also an opportunity for you to detail what you would like to happen at your funeral. Including funeral arrangements can greatly reduce the burden on your loved ones while they are grieving, as well as ensure that your wishes are carried out.
DISTRIBUTING YOUR ASSETS
You will need to think about what assets make up your Estate, who you’d want to have them and how they should be distributed (for example, a percentage of your Estate given after a specific beneficiary reaches a certain age). You might also want to think about passing on your digital assets when making a Will, such as music and photo collections. Some helpful information on the different ways in which Estates can be distributed is given in more detail on the How to Leave a Gift to Charity page. If you have a very complex Estate and wish to distribute intricately, we recommend that you seek professional legal advice.
INCLUDING A CHARITY
If you have decided you’d like to leave a gift to charity in your Will, you will need to decide which one. You might have a favourite charity you have supported in the past, or there may be a cause close to your heart. Or you might like to include several charities and cover several causes that are important to you. You can search for a specific charity or cause and find out what difference a gift in your Will could make. There is also the opportunity to take the What Kind of Legend are You quiz to understand the kind of mark you may consider making on the world.
Gifts in Wills are an essential source of income for many charities and enable them to carry out much of their vital work. You can decide how small or large your gift is. If you are still thinking about including a charity but aren’t sure, read up about how easy it is to leave a gift to charity.
When considering giving a gift to charity, reflect on what is most important to you, the legacy you would like to leave for the future, and the charities you care about. This should help you make a decision you feel comfortable with.