Leaving a Lasting Impression

18th of December, 2018

Most of us want to make the world a better place, particularly for those who will inherit a society they did not create. Sometimes working out how to make that difference seems too overwhelming to contemplate, but there is an easy way for some of us to help future New Zealanders – leaving a gift in our will.

Making a will is something we as Kiwis are notoriously bad at doing, but it is crucial for your family and loved ones as, without a will, taking care of your assets is a complicated business. When planning or updating a will you can also consider including a legacy or bequest along with your other gifts to family and friends. These gifts cost nothing while we are still here enjoying life but ensure that part of our assets can be committed to supporting a cause we care about. In Aviva’s case, that is about making our families and communities safer places for our young people and children to grow up in, and to ensure that there are resources to minimise, or even eliminate, the enduring impacts of family or sexual violence.

Recently Aviva was told that it would be the recipient of a bequest made via the new Christchurch Foundation. Our supporter, Frida*, tells why she made sure she got a will, and why she chose to make gifts to charities in it.

“I’d come face to face with the results of domestic abuse while working in family law and in women’s health. Consequently, I’ve known about women’s refuges for around 30 – 40 years, and supported them with donations of both goods and cash in Auckland and later in Christchurch on moving here.

“When my brother was diagnosed with cancer, we had a number of discussions about wills and bequests generally, and following his death I gave a great deal of thought as to where I would like my assets to go, and how they might be administered to best effect.

“My decision to utilise the Christchurch Foundation was a piece of good timing. Having recently moved from Auckland, and following the death of two of my previous beneficiaries, it was necessary to draft a new will. At the time I was giving thought to making charitable bequests, information about charitable foundations crossed my desk and on making enquiries of the parent organisation, I was put in touch with the Christchurch Foundation.  Jodie Shaw of that organisation was of great assistance, providing me with considerable information on a variety of charities, and I selected three which most closely matched my beliefs and values. Aviva was one of those charities. Sadly, I believe that the assistance provided by organisations such as Aviva will continue to be required for many years to come, and as such, Aviva is a worthy recipient of a bequest.

“You spend a lot of years acquiring assets, and if you die without a will (intestate), those assets may be divided in a manner not in accord with what you might have wanted, especially considering the very fluid nature of relationships, with blended families becoming increasingly more common.

“I would strongly recommend that everyone give thought to drafting a will as soon as you start acquiring assets (Kiwisaver, for example), and revisit the provisions of your will every 10 years or so, or when a major change in your life occurs – a new partnership, birth of children, or death of a family member for example. A bequest made through a charitable foundation such as the Christchurch Foundation gives you the additional confidence that your bequest will continue to receive the scrutiny of the Foundation.

If you are interested in leaving a gift in your will to Aviva, please contact us to discuss your wishes. You can leave a legacy gift directly to us in your will (with your lawyer’s advice), or utilise a Foundation, as Frida did. Either way, maybe now it’s the time to think about what your legacy will be after you’ve gone. How will you leave the world a better, safer place for the children of today, who will become the adults of tomorrow?