Like so many people, I don’t want to think about dying.
I am a fairly healthy, active(ish) 37-year-old.
So, until two years ago, I felt justified in postponing writing a Will. Everything involved in creating one seemed complicated or expensive, something I didn’t need or want to think about.
Then, two years ago everything changed for my husband and I thanks to the birth of our beautiful son Zach. Becoming a parent woke us up to the responsibility we have to our son, to making sure he’s protected – always. We owed it to Zach to make a Will, rather than it being something depressing, we realised it was an act of love for him and our loved ones.
Gifts in Wills mean that Jewish charities that support our community are able to continue their vital work.
Planning our Will wasn’t fun, but it wasn’t difficult either. We called a solicitor we knew, who we then met with and who guided us through the process, followed by submitting back to us a draft of our Will to review and sign and change later should we wish. It was actually a relatively easy process for us. Of course there are so many other options too and thankfully many inexpensive ways of making Wills are now available.
With the sense of responsibility towards our son, came for me personally an added one towards my community. I have worked in the charity sector for over 15 years and as the Marketing Assistant Director of a large communal charity, I know first-hand the difference that a gift in someone’s Will makes to the many Jewish charities that rely on them. For so many of our communal charities home and abroad, voluntary income is uncertain, in decline and government funding nonexistent for most. Gift in Wills have now become the lifeblood in funding a large proportion of the vital work they do.
Our choice of which charities to include were based on very personal reasons and causes close to our hearts. Knowing that it’s not just our son and loved ones we are protecting, but also helping to protect the great work of two charities that help so many feels like a small, personal handprint that we will be leaving behind on the world.
Finally after years of putting it off, we can say, ‘We did it. We made a Will’.
Ellisa Estrin, Chair of Jewish Legacy Giving