New research by the Include a Charity Week campaign shows more than three times as many Australians would be willing to leave a gift to charity in their Will if the option was more ‘top-of-mind’ when planning their estate.

New research by the Include a Charity Week campaign shows more than three times as many Australians would be willing to leave a gift to charity in their Will if the option was more ‘top-of-mind’ when planning their estate.

bequests

Include a Charity Week begins 10 September to raise public awareness about the ease and importance of leaving a gift in your Will to charity.

Currently only 7.4% of Australians leave a gift to charity in their Will, but the Include a Charity research found that 25% of Australians say they would like to.  A further 42% were undecided and only one third of respondents said they definitely would not leave a gift in their Will.

“These figures remind us that Australians are big hearted and very generous, but we need to find better ways to have the conversation about gifts in Wills so more Australians can know it is an option,” said Include a Charity Campaign Director, Helen Merrick.

Solicitors could ask the question

Solicitors are key in the Will-writing process, said Merrick, but often do not ask their clients about including charitable bequests fearing it might cause offence. But the survey results suggest asking the question does not impact negatively on solicitors.

“Importantly, our research confirmed acceptance of solicitors engaging in charitable bequest conversations: 65% of Australians said it is okay for solicitors to ask about leaving a bequest when they are writing their Will, with just 11% unsure. Only 23% of Australians didn’t think it is okay,” said Merrick.

Merrick says motivations for leaving a gift in one’s Will include wanting to leave a lasting legacy or to honour a family member. “Motivations do vary considerably but the difference these gifts can make a charity’s beneficiaries can be transformative. Imagine the impact if a few more people did leave gifts in their Wills.”

Include a Charity has created a free check list of things to consider in the Will-writing process. Visit www.includeacharity.com.au to find out more.

September 10-16 is Include a Charity Week in Australia, when close to 100 of Australia’s best-loved charities come together to promote how gifts in Wills can be significant for the work of charities. The list includes the Taronga Conservation Society Australia, UNICEF Australia, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, Cancer Council Australia, World Vision Australia, Stroke Foundation, Garvan Research Foundation, Starlight Children’s Foundation, White Ribbon Australia, plus many more.

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