GAA legend and television pundit Pat Spillane is encouraging people to consider including a gift to a charity in their will, as part of this year’s My Legacy Month campaign, which was officially launched today.

The annual campaign reminds people of the importance of having a will and generates awareness about the impact of legacy giving, asking people to consider including a legacy gift in their will for a cause they care about.

As the ambassador for the month-long campaign, Pat wants people to understand how easy it is to make a lasting impact on a cause they care about, no matter what size their legacy gift is.

Commenting today, Pat said: “Having recently made some big career decisions in my life and having taken a step back from my GAA punditry, it has given me some time to take stock and consider what’s important to me and what I want next in life. My father died suddenly when I was very young and reflecting on that time, I realise how important it is to have your affairs in order for your own peace of mind and for your family too.

“Some people might be uncomfortable talking about wills and it can be something that people put on the long finger but it is a much easier process than people might realise. It’s an important task whatever stage of life you’re at – whether that’s buying your first home, starting a family, or even retiring or taking your career in a new direction like I am right now.

“Leaving a legacy gift in your will is a really valuable way to ensure that a cause you care about is supported in the future. One of the myths around legacy giving is that it only applies to very wealthy or older people but in reality, anyone can make a difference by including a gift in their will.

“Aside from the legacy I hope I leave within the GAA, one of the causes that’s important to me and my family is the brilliant work of cancer charities in Ireland. We’ve been supporting the work of the Irish Cancer Society for several years and it’s great to know that any legacy I leave will support them, the people they help and the vital work they do across the country, several years into the future.”

Pat’s daughter Cara Spillane echoed his sentiments: “As a person in their early thirties, making a will seems like something I don’t need to think about for hopefully many years to come. But, through the My Legacy Month campaign, I’ve learned that it’s never too early to start those conversations about your own legacy or the legacy of your loved ones.

“We’re known for being a nation that is often puts off discussing taboo subjects, and I think making a will definitely falls into that category! But talking openly with your family about what happens after you’re gone, means that when the time comes, you’re sure your wishes will be met. A commitment of a legacy gift to a charity – no matter how big or small, or whether you’re 32 or 82 – is a really valuable way to give back to a cause that’s close to your heart and can have a transformative impact on someone they look after.”

About My Legacy Month
This year’s My Legacy Month campaign has been moved to September to coincide with International Legacy Giving Day on 13th September.

The campaign is run by the umbrella group My Legacy, which is made up of 80 Irish charities working together to make legacy-giving the norm in Ireland now for the benefit of our future society.

Impact on Charities
Commenting today, Aoife Garvey, Chairperson of My Legacy said: “As we emerge from the pandemic and are now faced with a cost of living crisis, charities are under more pressure than ever, supporting the most vulnerable in society. This year’s campaign message, ‘plant a seed, grow your legacy’, is reassurance that no matter what size a legacy gift, the cumulative effect is a more sustainable future for Irish charities, allowing them to plan for the future. From small seeds grow great forests – every legacy gift contributes a collective benefit to future society.

“And although we’re typically a generous nation when we’re asked to donate, according to 2021 research, only 3 in 10 Irish people have a will at present, and we know this is often down to people simply ‘not getting around to it’ or the belief that it’s a difficult or daunting process. In reality, making a will takes about an hour and can be done in three simple steps.

“Your legacy gift will make a lasting difference to the causes, people and places that are important to you. You can support communities and specific projects that will help your community in the future and this month, we encourage you to have conversations with your loved ones about your wishes and think about leaving a legacy behind.”

3 Simple Steps to Writing a Will
According to My Legacy, 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 help 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.