Where there’s a will…
There’s a way to keep making a difference after you’ve gone, says Kerry McMenamin
What comes to mind when you think about writing your will? Is it something to put off? Is it a necessity rather than something you actively want to do? Perhaps it’s been at the bottom of your to do list for years? For some, will-writing seems like a chore; for others, the subject of wills brings up challenging or uncomfortable feelings about the end of life.
As a legacy fundraiser at Christian Aid, I see wills very differently. I read many wills and it is often like reading a joyful series of stories – stories of life. Some wills are like love letters, detailing all the people that are most important to them, and remembering them. Some paint a vivid picture of what was important to a person through the choices they make in their will. One will left gifts to every church where the person had celebrated a special life moment: the church they were baptised in, the one they were married in, and the one they worshipped in for most of their lives. Wills are an autobiography, telling the story of a life, and reflecting passions and values.
Gifts in wills to churches and charities can be transformational. For Christian Aid, these special gifts make up more than a third of our voluntary income. This has a huge impact on our mission to create a world where everyone can live a full life, free from poverty.
We are always inspired by our supporters when they share their motivations with us. One supporter explained: ‘I am so fortunate. I do not have a huge income, but I am rich. I have power, clean water and a health service at the end of the phone. I really want other people to enjoy the benefits I enjoy. When I die, I want Christian Aid to go on and on!’…
This is an extract from an article published in the December 2021/January 2022 edition of Reform