Actress Mary McEvoy reflects on her personal legacy as she launches My Legacy Month this September

Star of stage and screen, Mary McEvoy is calling on people to consider including a gift for a charity in their will as part of the annual My Legacy Month campaign which runs throughout September.

As ambassador for this year’s annual campaign, Mary is calling on people to consider what they want their own legacy to be and to remember that every small action can have an impact.

“I think there’s this idea that it’s the millionaires who can make a big difference for a charity or good cause,” Mary said, “When the truth is that every single gift counts and they all add up to something hugely meaningful for Irish charities and for the people and animals and environments they support.

“At home in Westmeath, I have been planting trees for many years now and every single one starts with a small seed. Now that forest will hopefully be there for many more generations to come. As a society we can have that same impact for future generations by including a gift for a charity in our wills now.

“Perhaps there is a charity that has supported you or someone you care about directly, or a charity that is standing up for those across the world who need our support. Whatever cause is close to your heart, you can plant that seed for the future right now by choosing a charity to include in your will.”

She added: “I know I may be remembered as Biddy, or for many of the other roles I’ve played over the years, but for me, my legacy is the land that I’ve lived and worked on throughout my life. That’s where I see my greatest impact. Being a custodian of this land and giving a small part of our island back to the native trees and plants, and all the insects and wildlife that have thrived there. I’ll be very proud of that legacy.”

Representing an umbrella group of 90 Irish charities, the My Legacy Month campaign reminds people about the importance of having a will and raises awareness of the impact that a legacy gift could have to support the ongoing work of a cause close to their hearts.

Commenting at the launch, Niall O’Sullivan, Chairperson of My Legacy, said: “The big message we want people to remember this My Legacy Month is ‘plant a seed, grow your legacy’, and we’re delighted to launch this year’s campaign with Mary – someone who is doing this in the most practical sense through her forestry and farming. It’s a great reminder that there are practical steps we can all take to make real change for the future.

“Making your will is one of the most important, practical things that a person can do in their lifetime and it’s a simple action that many put off. In fact, it’s reported that only three in ten people in Ireland have made their will. But once you decide to do it, it’s not a daunting task, it can take less than an hour and can be done in three simple steps.

“There is a great peace of mind to be had from making or updating your will and by also including a gift for a charity, no matter the size, you will contribute to a more sustainable future for Irish charities and the people and places they want to continue to care for.”

3 Simple Steps to Writing a Will

The three simple steps involved in writing a will are:

  1. Make an appointment with a solicitor: To discuss your wishes and decisions for the future.
  2. Look after loved ones: A will provides for your loved ones, assigns guardians, protects assets, and can reduce inheritance tax.
  3. Consider a legacy gift to charity: If you have a cause close to your heart, consider including a gift to that charity in your will. A gift may be big or small and is tax free.