New Zealand marks ‘Wills Month’ in September, an annual prompt to create or update this all-important record of what you want to have happen when you pass away.

Having an up-to-date Will gives you peace of mind that you have made the best plans possible for the people and causes you care about, making it easier for your family and friends to do the right thing when the time comes.

However, creating or updating a Will can be a daunting prospect, especially if you rarely engage with lawyers.

To mark September as Wills Month, Momentum Waikato is partnering with leading solicitors Tompkins Wake to make the process easier.

  • Firstly, Tompkins Wake is offering a free no-obligation 30-minute Will discussion during the month of September. To arrange this, contact Scott Ratuki via scott.ratuki@tompkinswake.co.nz or 07 838 6002.

  • Or try out Tompkins Wake’s new ‘Create your free Will’ web tool. Just go to tompkinswake.co.nz/create-your-free-will any time and start entering your details and it will generate a printable legal Will. Get this signed and witnessed, and you can then lodge it with the lawyer of your choice, there is no obligation to use Tompkins Wake.

Both these options will assist you in drawing up a simple Will – the online tool simply slots your specific wishes into a standard legal Will format.

If your Will is likely to be complex and need additional work, perhaps because you have a range of assets or ownership structures, costs will apply to further work – please discuss this when booking your free appointment with Tompkins Wake.

As ever, it is best to talk to your family about your Will before taking advantage of either of these offers.

Providing for your loved ones is of course the first priority, but you may also wish to consider leaving a bequest to a cause or a charity, or to the community that has enabled your success in life.

As the region’s Community Foundation, the primary mission of Momentum Waikato is to ensure the bequests and donations entrusted to our care will have the maximum impact on local social and environmental issues. Our Bequest Patron Ken Williamson explains the concept in this presentation video.

Community Foundations have existed internationally for about a century, with the first one in New Zealand being Tauranga’s Acorn Foundation, established in 2003. Since then Community Foundations have been set up in most regions, with Momentum Waikato getting underway in 2013.

Each of them is building an endowment fund for their ‘neck of the woods’, as in a pool of money gathered through donations and bequests that is then invested, with the resulting income being disbursed as grants or loans to local social enterprises, not-for-profits and change-makers.

It’s a well-proven model for ensuring your giving has a positive and ongoing impact, rather than being ‘all used up at once’ when it is handed over, so is a particularly effective strategy when wanting to leave an ongoing gift to an organisation.

Momentum Waikato has already received bequest pledges from a number of Waikato families and individuals – contact us if you would like to commit to a formal bequest agreement that can specify what you will leave and how you want the resulting income to be distributed.

Completing such an agreement is ideal but not essential – Community Foundations often only learn they are going to receive a bequest once a Will has been opened. However you approach your bequests, it is best to talk to a lawyer first.

Get in touch with Momentum Waikato if you would like to know more.