Leaving a will – will you be ripped off?

This is from guestposter Wiggia:

612677046e1946d153e0b33b4170727e6b178eeba62c8cb812b5d9bf41cb2241It was a reply some time ago by Rossa to an article that jogged the old grey matter into stating that our will needed changing.

Like most people, a will is not something anyone wants to contemplate but eventually needs must and that time has arrived, the reply by Rossa was in respect to charity giving and the minefield it has become with all the big charities seemingly becoming infiltrated by people who want to use them for influence outside the charities original remit for political reasons and in the process have turned them, over many years, into businesses with CEOs earning very large salaries and a retinue of staff also on the gravy train, not my idea of a charity.

The easy answer is not to give them anything in the first place, but for us there is a quandary, not having any children to leave anything to, the estate has to be divided up when the time comes and the current arrangement ie the standing will is old and not fit for purpose, so a new one has to be drafted.

I fully realise we are far from the first people to be confronted with this problem but it doesn’t help when seemingly all charities have gone down the corporate route, even what appeared worthy, and they almost certainly are, local charities are now based on this corporate set up with CEOs on £90,000 a year, whilst fully accepting that they have to be run in a manner that promotes and helps their cause. The fact that many are doing the govts work on the cheap and are receiving govt funds whilst paying staff business salaries takes the gloss off any thoughts of making a legacy available.

Sadly the web site Fake Charities no sooner started to give out valuable information on the status of a lengthening list of these organisations than it disappeared without trace. There sadly doesn’t seem to be a suitable substitute.

It is possible to plough through individual charities’ annual financial reports, if you can find them in the small print, but it is hard going one at a time and and also by the time you get what you want, a reason to open another bottle of wine, they all appear to spell out similar facts, ones I don’t like on principle.

Now we could leave it all to other members of the family and indeed some provision will be made in that area, but it is a small family and all are well catered for and their children, plus it is difficult to seem fair in these matters and there are a couple of family members I would not give the time of day to, never mind a legacy, so you can see the dilemma.

Of course with us, the obvious answer is to spend it all, thereby alleviating the problem and I will make sure that road is followed as much as possible, but how successful one can be in doing that is open to argument. I believe the late Rock Hudson had managed to get his cash down to about $500 upon his demise but would suggest that as his ranch was left to his partner the cash side of things was not that important and the timing of such is with the gods or God as much as personal judgement.

Having children does make the whole process a lot easier, there is that natural first line in any will starting “to my …” and all being well with the family, that takes care of nearly all our worldly goods, and of course after you have gone, then what they do with it is hardly a problem you can have any influence over and it really is well beyond you then anyhow.

I think after making myself finally sit down and trawl through what seems an endless list of worthies is how disillusioned I’ve become with all of the charity set ups, I do have a lot more to go and will persevere, but even if I find some that have not been “corrupted” they still have to appeal to you and this is not going to be an easy task.

The trouble with blowing all on personal enjoyment is the timing, if you worry about not having enough when things go wrong the likelihood is you end up in care and the other lot take it all anyway.

This is one of those things countless and endless couples have had to face over the years, but there is not an easy option and that clock keeps ticking …

For OoL readers, from James:

The question has been asked about crossposting here and at NO and one detractor, a couple of years back, mentioned me seeing OoL as an extension of my own blog, which is bollox. The number of posts at my place is prolific. Occasionally, it’s so obviously an OoL type post that I double-post it here. Most times, if it’s only an OoL type, it only goes up at OoL.

This one of Wiggia’s is for two different sets of readers, with some overlap. OoL is not my site, it’s a joint site at which I’m an admin and so it has a certain readership different to mine. Over at NO, there are a lot of people who like feature type posts and so on.

Getting that balance right is, of course, the tricky bit.
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6 comments for “Leaving a will – will you be ripped off?

  1. Old Geezer
    March 28, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    I will not give to most large charities. I will sometimes give to the Salvation Army, and the Royal British Legion; both of whom seam to have avoided politicisation. There are many smaller charities, such as the Motor Neurone Disease Association, with whom I have unfortunately had dealings. and some Cancer Charities, who will put every penny that they get, to good use. One of the most abhorrent of the large charities is the RSPCA, closely followed by the RSPB. Most of the large charities are more political than charity, and it is getting worse.

  2. The Jannie
    March 28, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    You can’t have mentioned the RSPCA; I didn’t see a TV crew.

  3. Mudplugger
    March 28, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    I have no offspring and aim to spend all my amassed wealth, as near as possible down to zero, by the time my natural exit occurs.
    However, some random event may cause that exit to occur sooner, so a Will exists to cover that eventuality.
    Should that Will be invoked before my cash-exhaustion plan is complete, then one very small, very local, preservation group is in for one helluva suprise – they’ll probably never need to fund-raise again – they don’t even know me, or my intention, but I quietly approve of what they do and how they do it, so that’s my logic.

  4. Uncle Badger
    March 29, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    This is a problem faced by my wife and I, too, and we are in the process of mulling over the somewhat limited options.

    One consideration not mentioned is what might happen to an otherwise decent organisation after one has donated. Most charities probably start out with decent enough ambitions but after time the sharks and vultures move in.

    What looks like a reasonable recipient now might not once two or three people in this position have left it their entire estates and the scent of blood in in the water.

    We have even considered starting some kind of small local trust but that involves lawyers.

    All ideas gratefully received.

  5. April 1, 2015 at 10:53 am

    I have accepted, finally, that my time is drawing to a close. I am not ill, though it is true that I have certain health problems, all of which are not life-threatening. But, I have accepted that as I have now exceeded the old accepted term of three score and ten years; sooner or later I will hopefully be left, by a family member: mid-winter, on an exposed stretch of moorland in this my favourite part of England, the very country of my birth; with below-zero temperatures, so that I might leave at my own choosing, at my own discretion and volition, and with the minimum amount of bother.
    The most important item has already been completed; that is of course my Will. My wife, then my children; and then my three grandsons are all included.
    Several individual bequests are made, but no provision, nothing at all, will go from my estate to any so-called charity or religious group; because in my own view just about all of the these so-called charities are simply vehicles for a few to get super-sized salaries, many more to ‘earn’ salaries far in excess of their worth, and the amounts of money which actually finds a passage to the targeted individuals or areas is tiny. The truly politicised ‘big name’ charities, such as the R.S.P.C.A., or Oxfam, or any of a dozen other fake charities which exist largely on either government or e.u. funding, would never ever get a penny from me, because they are all leftist-oriented, liberal-elitist run, shams for lobbying groups intent on forcing us to do this, or refrain from that, or anything that they, as the ‘experts’ know is ‘not good for us’.
    I used to have time for the R.N.L.I., mainly because they are associated with the dangers of the sea, but the news of all those super-sized salaries for the executives called time on them. I also gave to the Anthony Nolan Trust, one of the very few donor charities of which I had even time for; but, there again, when one reads of two Trust executives earning over £100,000.00, that knowledge alone stops any generous gesture in its tracks.

    My view is simple, ignore all the do-gooders, mainly because most of them are either too stupid, too self-centred or too foolish to be even listened to. My elder brother died without my reconciliation, mainly over an argument about our respective political beliefs, and that I shall regret for ever; but that is, now history. I truly wish that I had made up with him, but he died in a short time, delirious, in a drug-induced semi-coma, so he probably would not have understood any attempt to heal a breach in family. Give to your family, use bequests to mend fences with those you may have argued with, give freely to your kin, and avoid those bottomless money pits, formerly known as ‘Charities’, like the very plague they have become!

    • April 1, 2015 at 11:31 am

      Thank you for this, Mike. Been going through my mind too, though still young[ish] for such things.

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