The word for 2020 must be “unprecedented”. We saw the New Year in with Australia engulfed in bushfires. When at last that nightmare was over we saw major flooding and hail storms. And then, of course, the first cases of COVID-19 started to appear.
Who would have thought even just 6 months ago that we would be forced to isolate ourselves physically from our loved ones and the rest of society because of a virus? In times like these it is easy to get the sense that we are buffeted by conditions that are totally out of our control.
There is perhaps at least one positive to come out of the physical isolation we are enduring in the current lock down conditions. That is we do have some time to reflect. There are many questions we might ask ourselves, but there could be few as important as what do I want to be known for when I am gone. What will be my legacy?
Taking control of one's legacy is an incredibly empowering action and, not surprisingly, it is something that many give consideration to as they get older. For many that legacy may include supporting particular organisations. And many charitable organisations can make a good case for why they deserve legacy support. Your choice really is a matter of matching your personal values with a charity's mission.
As a valued supporter of NSW Police Legacy you would be familiar with our mission to be the preeminent police charity protecting the police family, to be the charity that our police force protectors turn to in their time of need. We hope to build an organisation that will continue this work well into the future when we are all gone.
So what is an appropriate legacy? This is something we want to challenge a little. Often organisations refer to the process of leaving a legacy as a Bequest. But when we hear this term we might conjure up images of large rambling estates, with money and property carved up in dusty old 'Last Will and Testament' documents. We might think it is not really relevant to us.
There is, however, another way to think of leaving a legacy contribution to an organisation, and for this reason we have changed how we refer to it as “Gifts in Wills”. A Gift in a Will can be anything, any amount. Your legacy could be as small as 1% of your estate. You could leave 99% to your family and loved ones, but you have still made the statement that you wanted to make.
By using the term Gifts in Wills we hope to free up how we think of making that final statement. Obviously from NSWPL's standpoint any kind of support is much appreciated. We know that the work we do is important. There will always be a need to ensure that the people who protect us, who risk their lives for us every day, know that if tragedy falls on them, we will be there to look after the family. We know that you think this is important too.
By changing the term from Bequest to Gifts in Wills, we hope we are providing food for thought that may satisfy the need of our supporters to take control through leaving a legacy, while ensuring that we can carry on our work into the future.