How to leave a lasting legacy with a charitable bequest

Published on: September 5th, 2023

Most of us have a cause or causes that are close to our hearts, but giving a substantial donation during our lifetimes can be challenging as we weigh it up against our own financial security. There is, however, one time more of us will be able to make a sizeable donation – upon our deaths.

A bequest is a gift left in your will to a person, organisation or cause you care about. They can take many forms – cash sums, properties, shares or even specific items such as jewellery or artwork. Planning your bequests allows you to leave a personal legacy behind.

The first week of September marks ‘Include a Charity Week’, an initiative to raise social awareness of charitable gifts in wills. And it’s a good time to talk about this important topic. Bequests are a great way to give back and shape your legacy for years to come, for one cause – or many.

More than just a one-off donation

When we think of a bequest, many of us think of it as a one-off, significant donation to a single charity. But it can be so much more. The one-off donation is certainly one way to do it, but there are other ways that can see your money invested and continuing to grow to help social causes long into the future.

One way to do this is through the Lord Mayor’s Foundation, the community foundation for greater Melbourne, or Sydney Community Foundation, both of which manage outreach and community projects for their respective cities, responding to the changing needs of the population.

A bequest to one of these foundations will see your gift support various causes for years to come. Or, if you want more say in the specific causes and structure, you may consider a public or private ancillary fund. These allow funds to be invested posthumously and for earnings to be distributed to nominated causes and foundations.

Engage your family members in the cause

A charitable bequest can also engage your children and/or other loved ones. Involving relatives can see your legacy extend even further as you engage a new generation in an important cause.

It can also help loved ones to feel an ongoing relationship with you after you have passed and be a source of comfort during times of grief.

Whether you set up a fund and involve children or other loved ones in the execution, or simply leave your wishes for children to become involved, your bequest can be a lasting legacy.

Make a lasting impact

If you are already an Apt Wealth client, you likely know our stance on and commitment to philanthropy. We’re proud to be a firm with a purpose and regularly give to a range of charities.

And personally speaking, a bequest is part of my own financial plan. I am a volunteer board member and regular fundraiser for Lungitude, a charity that supports lung transplant patients and their carers, having seen the value of their support in my own family. I donate when I can too, but I also intend to leave a legacy for other patients and families, and in doing so, hope to further instil the value of giving in my children.

Setting up your own bequest can be an incredibly rewarding feeling during your lifetime and a gift that keeps on giving. And we can help you set up the right structure for your circumstances and wishes. For personalised guidance, talk to your Apt adviser or get in touch today.

General Advice warning

The information provided in this blog does not constitute financial product advice. The information is of a general nature only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be used, relied upon, or treated as a substitute for specific professional advice. Apt Wealth Partners (AFSL and ACL 436121 ABN 49 159 583 847) and Apt Wealth Home Loans (powered by Smartline ACL 385325) recommends that you obtain professional advice before making any decision in relation to your particular requirements or circumstances.