When criminal barrister Gabriel Farago retired, he took a long look at the considerable assets accumulated from 35 years in the law.
He and his wife Joan decided they wanted to share their good fortune. “And we wanted to do something constructive,” Mr Farago said.
A meeting with then chairman of the Garvan Institute, Charles Curran, followed by a tour of the research facility was enough to convince them to make a very large bequest immediately and to determine that they would leave their estate to the institute.
“What could possibly be more important than supporting cutting-edge medical research which will benefit generations to come,” Mr Farago said.
The Faragos are among only 7.5 per cent of Australians who leave money to a charity in their will – compared with the 75 per cent who contribute to charities during their lifetimes.
A recent awareness campaign – Include a Charity Week – aimed to lift that 7.5 per cent figure to 12 per cent, which would mean an additional $440 million to charities.
There are 140 charities behind the campaign, including the RSPCA, Cancer Council, Red Cross and Amnesty Inter-national Australia.
Since Include a Charity formed in 2011, the group has witnessed an encouraging change in the number of people who intend to leave a bequest. Discussing charities when drawing up a will appears to be becoming more accepted, and solicitors are becoming more proactive in raising the subject with clients.
“We are delighted there is a trend towards a consideration of charity bequests,” said Ross Anderson, of Include a Charity. “However, we want to communicate with the 80 per cent of Australians who don’t know this is an option. After making sure that loved ones are taken care of, we are asking people to consider their favourite charity when making or next updating their will.”
World Vision Australia chief executive Tim Costello said: “Including a charity in your will is an opportunity for Australians to leave a life-changing legacy. It’s another way people can support the causes they care about – and make an impact for years to come.”
More information at www.includeacharity.com.au