It's in the timing
By leaving a charitable gift in your Will — either a Specific gift or a Residual gift percentage of your estate — can make the world of difference to your community, and possibly your own children, family and friends.
Some people choose to support the vital work of charities that have the most meaning for them with annual gifts during their lifetime. While others choose to remember charities in their Will as solicitor Peter Steele of Peninsula Law explains.
“From a financial planning point of view, we never know what we’re going to need as we get older,” says Peter. “That’s why leaving a charitable gift in a Will is a great move, as it does so without putting your own wellbeing at risk.”
Providing piece of mind
One thing that’s so important is knowing your estate will be divided exactly as you want after you’ve gone.
Creating a comprehensive, legally valid Will that specifies the beneficiaries of various gifts, including to the charities that have been so important, puts you in control that your wishes will be followed.
“This is all about your priorities being taken care of,” Brenton Tong, Senior Financial Advisor for Financial Spectrum, says. “With a valid Will in place, it provides piece of mind.”
Supporting life-changing work
Without the generosity of the people who support and donate to charities like The Kids’ Cancer Project, life-changing medical research would not be possible. Charitable gifts left in Wills are absolutely essential for work to continue into the future and benefit generations to come.
“This is becoming more common, and people seem excited by the prospect of doing something for their community,” says Brenton.
“As estates appear to be getting larger, people often feel they have allocated generously in their Will to their families, and yet there’s still sufficient assets to go to a charity.”
Which is why ensuring the wording about gifts in your Will is so crucial to ensuring your intentions are followed. Checking a charity website for the exact wording to use is imperative, such as here with The Kids’ Cancer Project.
Everything in order
Sadly, there have been some cases in recent years that ended up in the courts because a Will was not drafted correctly, and the intended charities missed out on significant funding.
“Gifts are such an important part of the income charities work with, so it’s imperative all the details of your estate are in order in your Will if you want that charity to receive those funds,” Peter says.
“There’s an assumption that Wills are very easy things to complete, but they’re just as easy to get wrong.”
The true value of a gift
Getting professional advice from a solicitor who knows all the legal ins and outs can create a Will that ensures the gifts are distributed exactly as you intended.
Calculating what the assets in your estate are worth might also prove revealing, in terms of realising the true value you have to offer in making various gifts, as well as the importance of having a professional draw up your Will.
“Realising the true extent of your estate’s value can be empowering,” Peter says. “This might be when you discover you can leave gifts to loved ones as well as to your favourite charities, knowing there is plenty to go around for everyone.”