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Leaving a Lasting Legacy – Your Will, Your Family and Organ Donation

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Leaving a Lasting Legacy – Your Will, Your Family and Organ Donation

19th October 2020

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“The reality is that most people are living month to month and have very little time to think about the future – never mind thinking about the legacy they want to leave behind one day.”

There’s no doubt that life is getting busier and busier. With cell phones, emails, social media, work pressures, global pandemics, local politics and more, we never seem to have any downtime. Days seem to roll into weeks, and weeks into months, and we find ourselves asking: “where did the year go”.

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The reality is that most people are living month to month and have very little time to think about the future – never mind thinking about the legacy they want to leave behind one day.

One of the first steps to planning your legacy is pausing your busyness to draft your Last Will and Testament.

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“Frighteningly, more than 75% of South Africans pass away without a valid Will in place causing devastating consequences for their families and dependants.”

Frighteningly, more than 75% of South Africans pass away without a valid Will in place causing devastating consequences for their families and dependants. Without a Will, the execution of your Estate is subject to South African Intestate Succession law and processes, which results in your family losing control and you forfeiting any final wishes you may have. This is not a great start to securing your legacy.

The problem is so dire that the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) promotes National Wills Week every year, encouraging more people to take this task seriously and get their affairs in order. As a business, we’ve embraced the challenge of changing the stats of our nation and we help more South Africans get their Wills in place.

Wills Week is usually in September but due to Covid-19 and lockdown the LSSA officially announced that National Wills Week will be from 26 – 30 October this year. The exercise of drafting your Will forces you to think about what you are leaving behind and to whom.

When thinking about the legacy you want to leave, you suddenly realise it’s more than just assets and “stuff” that you leave behind. It’s actually more about the memories, principles and impact you have on people’s lives. It’s about how you lived and what lives beyond you.

Become an Organ Donor

With legacy in mind, and as one of the leading providers of Wills in South Africa, we encourage all our clients to consider becoming an organ donor.

In South Africa, organ donation is greatly misunderstood and for that reason, avoided. As such, there is a heart-breaking shortage of registered donors. Thousands of people who desperately need an organ donation, sit on a waiting list their whole lives with many passing away without a suitable donor being found.

There are only 300 000 registered Organ Donors in South Africa – that is less than 1% of the national population. With a population of 57-million people, we actually need closer to 3-million registered donors to meet the demand of patients who need organ transplants.

Compare that to countries like the USA where over 50% of the population is registered as organ donors, or the UK where it’s compulsory unless you choose to opt out.

“There are only 300 000 registered Organ Donors in South Africa – that is less than 1% of the national population. With a population of 57-million people, we need closer to 3-million registered donors to meet the demand of patients who need organ transplants.”

We are so passionate about the cause that we have officially partnered with the Organ Donor Foundation (ODF). Over the last 3 years, we have helped grow their membership by nearly 50 000 members and raised more than R 650 000 to fund their business operations and educational efforts.

What better way for us to help more people leave a lasting legacy than help an organisation that literally changes people’s lives.

Outlining your final wishes in your Will and noting your decision to become an organ donor, not only helps your family understand how you want your Estate to be distributed, but also helps them make peace with their loss and your decision to profoundly impact the lives of complete strangers in need. Surely this is the sort of example we’re all looking to set for our families.

So why not use National Wills Week as an excuse to stop for a moment and consider what legacy you wish to leave behind, not only for your family, but for other families too.

Written By Brandon Garbutt, Managing Director of Capital Legacy

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