The difference a gift in your Will could make to women across Australia

Did you know that despite 29 per cent of people saying they’d leave a gift in their Will to a cause close to their heart, only 8 per cent follow through? 

This week is Include a Charity Week, and we’re jumping on board to raise awareness about the impact a legacy gift in your Will can make to help us continue our work to make gender equality a reality. 

It’s very likely that you know at least one woman who has struggled with housing insecurity, homelessness or domestic and family violence sometime during her life. Perhaps her issues were linked – in fact, research tells us that gender-based violence is a factor in as many as 86 per cent of cases of women experiencing housing insecurity. Addressing these issues on the front line, as well as the systemic structures that enable these issues to continue to be so prevalent in our society, is what we do each and every day.   

By leaving a gift in your Will, you’ll ensure that we change the lives of many more women – women just like Rama – for generations to come.  

Meet Rama  

Like many women living in India, Rama’s marriage was arranged by her father. Over the years, her husband’s behaviour became increasingly violent towards her – even after Rama’s daughter and her Australian partner sponsored Rama and her husband to move to Australia.   

‘I did everything for him. The cleaning and cooking but he continued to abuse me. It was very hard.’   

Eventually, Rama realised that she could not take it anymore and some of her close friends helped her to leave the house. With nowhere to go, Rama turned to YWCA for support.   

Rama was able to be housed at Lakehouse, an innovative pop-up housing model that provides safe, temporary accommodation to single women over 55, experiencing or at risk of homelessness.  

Formerly a residential aged care facility, the building was sitting empty awaiting redevelopment.   

Through collaboration with the private sector and local governments, YWCA re-purposed this building to provide affordable housing for older women.   

For Rama, Lakehouse is a far happier and more peaceful home than the one shared with her husband during their 46-year marriage.  

‘It was like living in a prison. My husband kept me. There was no love, no affection. He was a very angry man,’ says Rama.   

‘I have peace here. This is a home for me and I am very happy.’   

How can I leave a gift in my Will to YWCA? 

The reality is that creating a Will and an estate plan shouldn’t be a job for retirement. No matter how old you are, what your relationship status is or how much money you have in the bank, here’s why you need to make planning for the future a priority in 2021.   

Making a Will can save your loved ones a large amount of stress, money and uncertainty around your intentions following your death.    

Many people neglect to have a Will because they feel they’re too young, it’s too complicated, too expensive, or it simply gets overlooked. Whether you use the services of a solicitor or an online Will making service, a Will can be easy, stress free, and will clearly detail your intentions to your loved ones when you die. It also lets your loved ones know you have made a clear and conscious decision about your estate and provides peace of mind around any uncertainties.  

It’s important to remember that not only is a Will important to ensure your estate is allocated as you intend, but that your Will is up-to-date. With personal and financial circumstances changing throughout your lifetime, many people have up to three Wills throughout their life.  

Do I need to make a Will, even if I’m young and don’t really have any ‘assets’ yet?   

Absolutely. While most people put their attention towards savings, superannuation and investing, planning for the future needs to be a key part of your financial plan (no matter how old you are!).    

While you want to do everything you can to take care of your loved ones, lack of planning can mean your assets and money don’t go to the people or causes you might want them to. Recent research has shown that 70 per cent of wealth transfers between generations fail because there wasn’t an estate plan in place.   

The ABS’ latest report on household income in Australia has revealed that average household wealth has jumped over $1 million for the first time ever. While younger Australians might not be hitting that mark yet, there is still enormous value in creating an estate plan now that you can adapt and change as you accumulate assets (such as buying a home).  

How much should I leave as a gift in my Will to YWCA Australia? 

A gift, even as low as one per cent of your estate, can have a big difference in positively impacting a woman’s life, and in doing so provide the greatest gift.

Examples of the impact your gift could have include:   

  • $1,000 could provide five women with support for their immediate needs after experiencing a traumatic life event   
  • $10,000 could cover the first week’s rent and holding deposit on a home for 20 families establishing a tenancy   
  • $50,000 could support an advocacy campaign, co-designed, with young women on systems’ change to make violence and homelessness for women a thing of the past   
  • $100,000 could fully fund a women’s homelessness support program for one year   
  • $500,000 could cover a young women’s housing program for two years in a new location   
  • $1,000,000 could support the establishment of new affordable housing in regional Australia to meet housing needs of vulnerable women.  

mY-Legacy  

Being a part of mY-Legacy means that you will join a group of people like Betty*, who are passionate about creating lasting change.  

Betty reached out to us in September 2019 to discuss leaving a gift in her Will to support women escaping domestic and family violence. She had vivid memories of the physical violence that her mother suffered throughout her marriage, and was determined to support other women in the same situation.  

Betty is passionate about ensuring that every woman experiencing domestic and family violence can be supported to leave and seek safety.  

Generous mY-Legacy donors like Betty help us implement client-centred solutions to support a future where gender equality is a reality by making young women’s leadership, safety and women’s housing our priority for gender equity in Australia. 

You can make a difference.   

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