From PSEC Philanthropy Manager, Sylvie Gibbins

This week is Include a Charity Week – a public awareness campaign run by some of New Zealand’s most loved charities, all working together to encourage people to include a gift in their will to a charity.

Did you know that as well as leaving your most valued assets and personal items to loved ones, you can make a bequest to Presbyterian Support East Coast, showing the values that guided you during your lifetime?

Bequests are always special to charities because they reflect a considered decision to support the vision and work of the charity.

When people hear about leaving a bequest in their will they sometimes think it has to be a significant sum, but that’s certainly not the case. You just have to specify how much you want to give, and no matter how large or small, it is always gratefully received – every bit helps!

Your solicitor would be your first port of call if you are considering leaving some of your estate to a charitable cause.

There is certainly a sense of relief that comes with sorting out affairs that could potentially burden your family. It is also greatly reassuring for families to know that their relative’s wishes have been fulfilled.

Do you have a Will?

Writing a Will is not expensive or time consuming, so it appears that personal inertia rather than cost is the main barrier for many people. In the case of an unexpected death, this can place a huge burden on surviving family members. Estate disbursements can be held up, and even reduced, through the legal process it takes to resolve issues.

  • If you don’t have one, your estate will be divided up according to the Administration Act:
  • Your spouse or partner gets your personal chattels, the first $155,000 of the estate and one-third of the rest. The other two-thirds go to your children.
  • If you have no children, your partner gets the personal chattels, the first $155,000 and two-thirds of the rest. Your parents get the other third. Your partner gets the lot if your parents are deceased.
  • If you have children but no partner, the entire estate is left to the children equally.

    If you have no partner or children, your parents inherit.
  • If your parents are deceased, the entire estate is left to blood relatives or to the Crown if no relatives exist.