Planting Trees for Tomorrow: Debunking Myths About Gifts in Wills

Brad Leue/AWC

Include a Charity Week is an international campaign celebrating people who have chosen to create a legacy for the causes closest to their heart. Gifts in wills are the summation of a life, telling the story of an individual’s personal experience, the people that they love, and the values that they hold.

“It’s an investment in our future and our children’s’ future, and I would have thought that’s the best kind of investment one could make.”
– Martin Copley, Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) Founder (1940-2014)

Despite the impact and significance of gifts in wills, they’re surprisingly not a very popular topic to bring up at dinner parties. This Include a Charity Week, we thought we’d take the mystery out of bequests by addressing a few common misconceptions.

A Bridled Nailtail Wallaby and joey at Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary, NSW. Tali Moyle/AWC

Myth Busters (Gift in wills edition)

I can’t leave a bequest, I have a family.

Of course, we always expect that your loved ones will be looked after first and foremost. But did you know that you can leave just a small share of whatever is left, after friends and family are provided for, to the causes you’re passionate about? Even just 1% of your estate can make a real difference to our work in the field.

Hopefully the legacy you choose to create with your bequest is something your family would be proud to see live on.

I’m not wealthy enough to leave a bequest – that’s only for millionaires.

Large or small, all gifts in wills are valued and appreciated because they represent something more important than the size of a cheque – they represent a commitment to the future of Australia’s landscapes, and a hope to see Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s (AWC) impact continued many decades into the future.

Plus, gifts in wills are a unique way to make a meaningful difference for conservation that won’t cost you anything during your lifetime.

I’m not going anywhere soon!

That’s good, because neither is AWC! We’ve been changing the conservation landscape around Australia for the last 30 years. And we hope all our supporters stay fit and healthy enough to stand with AWC for the next 30 years, and then 30 after that.

But the truth is, that even if you live to 150, you still need a plan.

Who cares – I won’t be around anymore.

This myth is hard to bust because it’s true. The people who leave gifts in their wills aren’t the ones who see the impact of their gifts, but as the old saying goes:

‘Blessed are old people who plant trees knowing that they shall never sit in the shade of their foliage’.

The efforts to preserve and restore Australia’s species and landscapes is not something that will be ‘solved’ in a single generation. In fact, it may never be declared ‘done’. But so long as there is work to do, AWC hopes to be on the frontline. We owe it to Martin Copley and all the supporters and founders who came before. We owe it to those who will come after us. And most importantly, we owe it to the mammals, the birds, and the insects who will enjoy the shade tomorrow of the trees being planted today.

Mt Gibson Wildflowers Julia Kalinkina/AWC
Mt Gibson Wildflowers

At AWC, we pride ourselves on our financial leadership. With around 80% of AWC’s team based in the field where they can make the biggest difference, and 84% of AWC’s total expenditure incurred in conservation, you can be confident your legacy will make a tangible difference to the future of Australia’s threatened wildlife.

To learn more about making a bequest for nature, visit our bequest page or get in touch directly with AWC’s Bequest Associate Carrie Alexander anytime on 08 6478 9730 or by email.

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