Very few people want to talk (or read) about making a Will. Most of us aren’t keen to think about dying. It tends to bring up confronting thoughts and emotions. Facing our mortality can be a tough gig. Yet when we do, there are surprising rewards. Facing mortality can encourage living better. It fosters a deep appreciation for the extraordinary privilege of being alive and the people in your life who matter to you.
Doing life admin around mortality also has its benefits. Once you have created a Will, have it witnessed and signed, you can liberate yourself from one nagging anxiety.
Creating a Will is also an incredible generous act for your loved ones. It ensures that your wishes are clear, avoiding the distress of your nearest and dearest, trying to guess what you would have wanted after you pass. This can prevent unnecessary conflicts in families during an already stressful time.
By making a Will, you have the power to not only leave your loved ones with clarity but to leave a lasting legacy. Find out how below.
How do you make a Will?
There are options for making a Will, especially if your estate is simple. You can go to the post office and buy a Will kit that you hand write. You can use an online Will making service. Or, if your estate is complex (meaning you have large and varied assets), you can visit a solicitor and have them draw up your Will.
Why should you make a Will?
Anywhere between 40% and 70% of Australians don’t have a legally binding Will, depending on which source you read. That means a huge number of us are missing opportunities to:
1. Ensure that our loved ones are taken care of as we would wish when we die;
2. Determine how our assets are distributed (no matter how large or small); and
3. Leave a meaningful legacy by gifting to a charity in our Will.
If you die intestate, the law decides how your assets are distributed. If you have a partner at the time of your death, all of your assets will go to them. If you have children from another relationship then some of the estate may also go to those children, depending on how much money is left in the estate. If you want to ensure that the people you love are taken care of in ways you feel good about, a Will is a necessity.
You don’t need to have a big estate to make a Will. Everyone has some assets, whether that’s a car, savings, stocks, property, family heirlooms etc. All working Australians have superannuation funds, many of which have life insurance policies attached.
What is a legally binding Will?
A will is valid when it meets three conditions:
• It’s in writing (handwritten or printed);
• It’s signed; and
• Your signature has been witnessed by two other people who have also signed the Will.
Why should you leave a gift to charity in your Will?
According to ‘Include A Charity’, over a quarter of charitable income comes from generous donors who leave a gift in their Will. This means that your favourite charities depend on income from legacy giving.
One of the beautiful things about legacy giving is that it enables people who may not have been financially able to donate to charity during their lifetime to make a significant difference through a gift in their Will.
Why should you leave a gift to Carbon Positive Australia in your Will?
Here at Carbon Positive Australia, legacy gifts are crucial to our work. We have planting projects that have 100 year permanency. They need to be monitored regularly over the lifetime of the project. When you leave a gift to us in your Will, you are ensuring that our organisation has the longevity we need to look after the trees in those projects.
You also make it possible for us to:
• support community tree planting projects across Australia,
• restore degraded lands;
• enable Australians to calculate their carbon footprint; and
• fund research into better ways to restore heavily degraded lands, such as salt impacted farmlands.
Leaving just 1% of your estate to Carbon Positive Australia in your Will supports our work into the future. You will be leaving a legacy of landscape restoration that increases biodiversity, restores water cycles, provides habitat for wildlife, improves soil health and much more. That’s a life-supporting, life-generating, world-changing gift!
For suggested wording for your Will, more information on how your gift supports our work, and information about our Acacia Legacy Circle, please download our free guide to leaving a gift in your Will.
You can create a free online Will through our partners, Gathered Here, whether you leave a gift to us or not. It’s quick and easy to complete and gives you free Will updates for life.
If you’d like to talk to us about your legacy, please get in touch with Louise Tarrier at [email protected]