Sunday, June 23, 2024

Shaping your legacy

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Some things you need to think about when writing your will.

A will is a very meaningful document and it should be prepared with great thought and care. As well as capturing what you want to do with all the things you own, your will can also capture your hopes and dreams for the future, and should include information about who should look after your children, or even your pets.

Making wills is becoming more popular across the world as people consider the legacy they want to leave.

As well as considering what you want to do with your assets – which might include your house, car, and personal items – many New Zealanders also decide to do something significant and include charitable legacy in their will.

You can leave a charitable legacy gift in two ways:

a) Directly as a donation to the charity or cause of your choice.
b) Through an invested legacy fund with your local Community Foundation.

If you choose to go with the second option your donation can be invested and grown into a long-term source of funding for your local community, targeting the cause areas of your choice.

It’s a particularly impactful way to leave a legacy for the long term, since Community Foundations are not-for-profit and are focused on strengthening communities, including supporting local charities and causes that are dear to the hearts of local people.

“It’s always really interesting to hear the reasons people decide to leave a charitable legacy locally,” says Eleanor Cater from Community Foundations of New Zealand.
“Time and again it comes down to a deep love for a place and a desire to make a difference.

“Personal connections, family ties, community involvement often feature. We are always amazed at how much joy can come about from shaping a personal legacy.

“Of course, when it comes to writing a will, we advise people to consider their family and friends first.

“And, if there is a cause they are passionate about, or change they would like to see in their local community, we find that setting up an invested legacy fund for the long term can also be of significant interest.

“Giving is so very personal, particularly through a will, and shaping the right solution, both for the giver and the community, is so important.”

Edna Brown left her legacy with Tauranga-based Acorn Foundation 20 years ago and her legacy gift has grown and now given more back to the community than the size of the original gift.

“We know how it has continued to give for the past 20 years, and if we look forward another 30, we know it’s going to continue to make an ongoing difference, forever.

“The lovely thing is, Edna Brown will never be forgotten, because the legacy fund exists in her name, forever,” says Eleanor.

Working alongside generous kiwis to help them create their own meaningful legacy, to cause areas of their choice, is what Community Foundations do.

Find out more and download a free Will Information Pack from their website: www.communityfoundations.org.nz

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