Australian Charities Would Befit Hugely If People Left Bequests

Australian Charities Would Befit Hugely If People Left Bequests

Philanthropy is not just meant for the seriously wealthy and as we approach the largest intergenerational transfer of wealth in the history of humanity, you can use a bequest to leave a lasting legacy say financial advisers. Australian Charity Week took place at the start of September and over the course of the week, financial advisers and lawyers were encouraged to advise their clients to think about bequeathing a gift to charity in their will.

No need to leave a huge amount

Caitriona Fay who is national manager for philanthropy and non-profit services at Perpetual says anyone can become a philanthropist by making a donation through a bequest. Ms. Fay pointed to Miles Franklin the iconic author and feminist as being the ideal example of how leaving even a small amount can have a huge impact. Ms Franklin was far from being wealthy, however she was determined to do something for literature in the country and she did it through her estate.

 “She left £8,922, which is in decimal figures just over $17,000 to set up the Miles Franklin Literary Award, and we know nearly 60 years later the impact that that $17,000 has had on the Australian cultural community and on Australian literature. She’s a great example of somebody who didn’t have the significant means to be a philanthropist in her lifetime but has demonstrated herself to be one of Australia’s great philanthropists via her estate.”

A small increase would produce huge benefits

At the moment however, the amount of bequests are low when you compare the figure to general giving. Presently 70 per cent of Australians make a donation to charity in their lifetime, however just 12.5 per cent of Australians leave a gift through their estate Ms Fay adds. She goes on to say that if there is a small percentage increase, with a significant amount of money changing hands there will be a huge benefit for community organisations.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

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