How to leave our legacy to nature

This September 13 marks International Covenant of Solidarity Daya date that honors the thousands of people who have voluntarily decided to cooperate with various non-governmental organizations such as WWF Spain.

In a time like the present, when heat, fires, drought and floods are daily news in our country, this way of continuing to support the work of organizations and the well-being of future generations is more important than ever.

This is the case of Caroline, legatee in favor of WWF Spain, who explains that “I wanted my legacy to be a continuation of my commitment to nature. It comforts me to know that even after I die, I will be able to continue to make a difference by contributing to something that is important to me. I want future generations to have respect for the Earth and for nature so that it remains alive. Knowing that I have made a gift, a legacy, makes me appreciate it more. It was an easy decision.”

Joint wills are not new, since something similar already existed, for example, in the Vizcaya charter of 1526 under the name bequest in favor of the soul or in the pious mandates of Navarre, donations for charitable purposes. The secularization of Spanish society means that this solidarity is now also directed at non-governmental organizations and foundations, although the essence remains the same.

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According to Juan Carlos Martínez Ortega, attorney and former president of the International Professional Union of Auxiliary Notaries, «those of us who cooperate in life with foundations or charities, we must provide in our wills for the continuation or modification of that assistance. What happens to the beneficiaries of this benefit if we die? Stop receiving support? The notarial will is the ideal means to regulate all these details and leave, even small sums, to entities in solidarity with the most needy”.

Non-governmental organizations distribute the solidarity bequests received to make their projects a reality and materialize the last wishes of the testators. A few examples: offering company for one year to ten elderly people who suffer from loneliness is achieved with €1,200; restoration of one hectare of forest with €6,000; to help start a mobile clinic, a donation of €3,000 is enough; You can provide treatment to cure severe malnutrition for 150 children with €6,000 or shelter eight refugee families with €3,000.

donations are growing

The data provided by the platform MakeSolidaryWill.org reveal that in 2021 Spaniards donated 33.8 million euros to NGOs and foundations through solidarity bequests, 31% more than the total received in 2020 (23.3 million euros).

In terms of autonomous communities, Madrid stands out above the rest with €9 million donated by the people of Madrid through solidarity bequests. It is followed by the Basque Country with almost four, Catalonia with 3.2 million and Castilla León and Valencia with 2.8 and 2.7 million respectively. Andalusia is slightly behind with 2.1 million.

In terms of the average value of solidarity bequests, Madrid and the Basque Country lead with an average of €117,000 and €112,000 respectively.

The most frequently donated goods in solidarity bequests are securities, real estate, jewelry and works of art, although cash amounts predominate, whose average amount entered through this cooperation channel also slightly increased from 76,053 in 2020. to 79,904 euros in 2021

the world is moving

The number of solidarity wills has also increased worldwide. According to the latest data available, in 2019 this form of cooperation grew by 24.7% compared to 2018, according to a study conducted by 18 international organizations.

The United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, Switzerland, Sweden, Canada and Italy are the countries where this growth is most notable, with the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan the countries with the highest amounts received through bequests solidarity: USA €230.2 million, UK €209.4 million, Germany €192.9 million and Japan €103.3 million.

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