In our family, it was the death in the UK of a much beloved Uncle that delivered up old letters, photos and cards, flooding us with things to do …when we got round to it…
Meanwhile, the local Vicar awaits delivery of promised piles of kids clothes, toys and boxes of text books belonging to another era, …when we got round to it…
And then there are those tasks such as updating our Wills to reflect recent changes, a divorce and a pandemic that separates grandmother from grandchildren, mother from daughters.
But of all those outstanding tasks, writing a Will for the first time or updating an existing Will is the single most urgent task to do.
Without a Will, an Executor is appointed who will divide and share your estate among blood relatives if you have any, or to the Government if there are none. Friends or charities not being blood relatives, receive nothing unless you write it down. This is the most basic information that everyone should provide…, to write down your choice as to who gets what and how much.
But above and beyond these basic choices, there is another higher and more satisfying choice you can make. You can give some of your wealth to schools, charities or research institutes seeking to discover a cure for cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis or even help house the homeless.
If you leave a bequest to the Arthritis Foundation of WA Inc your gift has a life of its own, living beyond the grave which could bring about change neither you nor I, will ever see.
And just to add a few more tasks to your list, you should also sign an Enduring Power of Attorney, a Health Directive, a Power of Guardianship and if you have retirement funds in Superannuation fund, a Binding Death Nomination. See how that list of things to do can grow…!
Thus, I encourage you to write a Will if you don’t have one; to update your Will if you do have one and to include the Arthritis Foundation of WA as a beneficiary in your Will if you can. Our research efforts are largely dependent on funds given through bequests (or legacies). How nice it would be for future generations if it was your family that helped fund such a breakthrough?
If this article raises your interest and you would like to discuss these options, please feel free to contact the Executive Director of Arthritis WA for a confidential discussion on (08) 9388 2199.
About the author and this article: Lee has been a Fundraising Consultant for thirty years advising and devising fundraising campaigns to help not-for-profit organisations fulfil their objectives. The author having neither legal nor financial qualifications does not offer this information as legal advice but seeks merely to encourage consideration of matters pertaining to the organisation of one’s personal affairs late in life.