Have you ever thought about leaving a gift in your will to the Greens? It‘s not as hard as you might think.
By Dr Rosalie Schultz
Time is short and although I support the Australian Greens, I don’t have enough time to contribute as much as I’d like.
So in planning ahead, I decided to include a bequest to the Greens in my will.
Consulting a legal professional
I was somewhat nervous going to a lawyer to assist in writing the will. I felt there was something unusual about telling them that I wanted to bequeath some of my belongings to the Greens. I assumed that the lawyer would assume that I’d want what I imagined was an ordinary will.
On reflection, there is likely no such thing as an ordinary will. Nobody is ordinary as we reflect on our legacy. Rather, writing a will is a privilege available to nearly everyone. It’s the privilege of ensuring our legacy is what we want. We can’t control what our offspring might do, but we can control who benefits from our material belongings after we’re gone.
Why create a will now?
It’s always a good time to ensure that you have a current will.
It's likely you’ll update and amend it over the years, but the opportunity to reflect on where you’d like your estate to go is an opportunity to reflect on the direction of your whole life. People who die without a properly worded will are expensive in terms of the uncertainty and potential for conflict. Likely the cost of legal assistance in writing the will is much less.
The lawyer I saw was professional and appropriate, and assisted me to articulate my wishes. They then translated these into language that is precise and meaningful for the execution of the will.
For example, there’s a phrase that describes what should happen if the gift to the Greens cannot take effect: the gift will go to another organisation that fulfils the objectives of the Greens.
Our future, our choice
I care about the Greens, our policies and our positions. I trust the processes and people who comprise the Greens to do the best for the future, and it’s in the future that they will have my bequest.
Rather than a specific amount, I decided to leave a proportion of my estate to the Greens. This spares me adding amounts for different beneficiaries and wondering how much there will be to go around.
My estate won’t be of any further use to me, while the Greens will always need support (although I can re-write my will anytime if things change).
Writing a will provides certainty for me and those around me of what I want after I pass, and including the Greens ensures I’ve thought about the future.
Dr Rosalie Schultz is a GP and public health physician who works in remote Aboriginal communities in Central Australia. She has been a member of the NT Greens for almost 20 years.