17 May 2013

Reflections in the Pond: Your Legacy

This isn’t an easy subject to raise, but it is an important one.  It’s also a good time to start thinking about it, as 13th to 19th May is Dying Matters Awareness Week.
Froglife is keen to highlight how everyone can make a difference, even after they have passed away. Making these sort of decisions now can save a lot of anxiety in the longer term, as well as ensuring you leave a lasting impact in the world.

The positive Dying Matters campaign gives 5 things you can do to ‘live well and die well’:

1 - Make a will
2 - Record your funeral wishes
3 - Plan your future care and support
4 - Register as an organ donor
5 - Tell your loved ones your wishes

Find out more at the English Dying Matters website here, and the Scottish website here, where you can also get support and find local events.
Something you might want to include in your will is a legacy - a charitable donation to an organisation or cause that you believe in. Or, you could have a memorial collection at your funeral instead of flowers – this can be something you can organise on behalf of others too.
Supporting new ponds and other habitats leaves a lasting positive impact
Here is our simple guide to supporting a charity through your will and funeral:

Leaving a legacy
Working with your solicitor, you add a short paragraph or ‘codicil’ to your will, and there are a couple of different ways to set this up:
Residuary legacy
This is a gift of all or part of your estate, after all taxes, specific gifts and the cost of administration have been paid. This type of legacy is worded as a percentage or share of your estate. Find out more about wording a
residuary legacy.
Pecuniary legacy
This type of legacy is a fixed sum of money. It is a popular way of giving because you know exactly how much you are giving.  Find out more about wording a
pecuniary legacy.
Memorial collection
You can specify having a collection for charity in your own funeral plans, or you can arrange one on someone else's behalf with help from the venue holding the service or the funeral director.  They can provide a collection box for you on the day, and people can leave donations on their way out.  You then pass on the donations to your chosen charity or charities. 
To carry on collecting after the service, you could set up a Virgin Money Giving page enabling people to donate online and leave personal messages –providing information about this on the order of service means people can also give after the event.
Supporting wildlife and people
If you are thinking about supporting Froglife, you can see where donations go by looking through our projects – every donation helps us to dig and look after ponds, create new habitat, introduce people to amphibians and reptiles, and help protect them from threats such as roads and diseases. 
Photo: Jules Howard