Wills Month is the annual September reminder to create or update this all-important record of your wishes for when you pass away.

Having an up-to-date Will gives you the peace of mind that comes from having planned for the people and things you care about, and it makes it easier for your loved ones to do the right thing when the time comes.

Momentum Waikato, your local community foundation, is again partnering with Tompkins Wake to make the Will-making process easier.

During September you can access a ‘Create Your Free Will’ web tool at tompkinswake.com/create-your-free-will.

Enter your details into this template and it generates a simple legal Will. Sign it and get it witnessed, and then you can lodge it with the lawyer of your choice, there is no obligation to use Tompkins Wake. If your affairs are complex, you will still need legal advice on your Will.

You should of course first talk to your family. Providing for them is the first priority, but you may also wish to leave a gift in your Will, a bequest, to your favourite charities or your community.

Like all community foundations, Momentum Waikato is building a regional endowment fund through donations, the transfer of trusts, and bequests from caring locals. The resulting investment income goes to local charities, social enterprises, community projects and changemakers of the donor’s choice.

This is a well-proven approach for ensuring your giving has a positive ongoing impact. Donating to a philanthropic investment fund is the effective strategy for providing a perpetual income stream to an organisation you support.

The graph below shows how the bequest left by Edna Brown with Tauranga’s Acorn Foundation some twenty years ago has grown since. Edna’s legacy fund has given out more than the original gift, some $75,839 to date, while the still-invested sum has grown to $93,252.

Since it was founded in 2013, Momentum has received gift-in-will pledges from a range of Waikato families and individuals.

Currently Momentum looks after some two dozen funds that provide ongoing financial support for a range of local causes, from care for sick babies, to conservation work, to community rugby. All would welcome bequests, to find out more visit 'Our Funds'.

Or you can create your own legacy by having your gift-in-Will start a new Fund at Momentum Waikato dedicated to your own giving goals, to find out more visit 'Create your Legacy'.

You can also download a free Will information Pack at the Community Foundations of New Zealand site.

Then to find out more about your local smart giving options, please contact Momentum Waikato.