WHY leaving a legacy matters

For the majority of us, the typical lifespan means being educated, having a career, raising a home and family and a lifetime spent building wealth and legacy for future generations. In later life there is onset of social awareness and reflection which tends to lead to wishes and desires to find ways to give back to society, make a difference and leave a mark.

Here are some reasons why people consider and intend to gift or bequest to charity by Will Writing:

  • As people progress through their life journey, they have had time to experience more, have meaningful memories and can create their own story of the purpose in life. Leaving a bequest in a Will to charity encourages a person to think about their life and what matters to them. There is also a greater sense of meaning in the act of leaving a charitable bequest in a Will because it provides a way for people to make a difference after they are gone, enhancing that person’s ultimate purpose in life. Their legacy will live on and benefit future generations, which is an incredibly positive way to be remembered.

  • The more a person is connected to the charity and its causes. For example, this could be if they or someone they know has benefited from the work done, or they have developed a relationship with the volunteers and supporters who undertake the work or the causes they help, are more likely to be motivated since they can envisage how their bequest will be put to use.

  • The more a person genuinely believes that their bequest will make a difference and have a positive impact on the work of the charity and its causes. For example, if they have had opportunities to be personally involved in the workings of the charity or contributed directly in the causes or formed a personal bond with its volunteers and supporters. As more people begin to believe, then this becomes a common act and so a ‘social norm’ to gift or make a bequest.

  • If a person has long been a charity volunteer or supporter, this could have a positive impact on their desire to include a charitable bequest. Their connection with the charity has more than likely strengthened over time through the relationships they forge, impacting on their loyalty and sense of identity with the cause.

  • There are people who have the means and so contribute not just financially but also make available their skills, expertise, networks and connections to enhance the act of legacy giving.

  • With an ageing population and complex inter-generational wealth transfer considerations between older people and their children, more conversations are taking place on the balance of priorities between ‘giving away’, ‘inheriting’ and managing expectations.