Nigella Sparks Debate Over Charitable Legacies

Domestic goddess Nigella Lawson recently hit the headlines with her declaration that she intends to leave her entire fortune to various charities rather than bequeath any of it to her children. Her 64-year old partner, Charles Saatchi, takes the polar opposite view and believes that his and Nigella’s combined three offspring from previous marriages should inherit the lot, currently estimated at £110million.

Whatever resolution the two finally agree to their disagreement, it has brought into focus the fact that charities benefit greatly from the proceeds of many people’s estates. Whether or not you agree with Ms. Lawson’s philosophy of letting the kids ‘do it for themselves’, leaving a legacy to charity is definitely a very noble action.

One of the most notable charitable legacies in the UK is the Wellcome Foundation, formed using the fortune of Sir Henry Wellcome after his death in 1936. However, many modern billionaires are not waiting until they die, but instead have decided to distribute their fortunes to charities whilst still alive, prompted by the decision of Bill Gates. The Microsoft chairman has set up a $7billion foundation which aims to close the considerable health and education gaps between Western and third world countries.

But, whilst billionaires can set up their own charitable foundations there are scores of existing worthwhile charities that constantly need funding. Charities derive a significant amount of their income from bequests and it’s not just multi-millionaires or billionaires that provide charitable legacies; many ordinary folk like to leave a portion of their accumulated wealth to charity following their death. Indeed, many smaller contributions soon add up and it is those donations that can often mean the difference between charities carrying on their good work or being forced to give up.

Bequeathing money in this way is straightforward and all it takes is the addition of a few words to your will. Most charities will furnish you with examples of legacy wording and, of course, most solicitors are also familiar with the process. Sadly, one in five people die without making a will and their estates pass into probate, causing considerable financial and logistical problems at a time of grief for their family.

By sitting down and sorting out a will, you have the security of knowing that your wishes will be respected after your death. Not only will you be able to document the distribution of your assets between family, friends and charitable causes, but you can include instructions on how you wish your funeral to be conducted.

So, whether or not you want to go the Nigella route and leave all your worldly goods to charity, make a will and make sure everyone knows your wishes.

Lock In Your Legacy

You, my friend, are going to die.

What? What kind of motivational tool is that? Real inspiring!

In fact, it is. Our mortality may perhaps be the ultimate inspiration and motivation! If we lived on this earth eternally, we could be procrastinators extraordinaire! We would never have to get anything done because there would always be tomorrow. But alas, we pass on and all we leave are the memories and the lives of others we affected while we were here. Sounds gloomy? In actuality, it is exciting! You see, this gives us purpose (and a deadline, pun intended).

We can choose how we will live on in the hearts and memories of others. We do this by purposing to live lives NOW that make change happen in ourselves, and those around us.

What kind of legacy will you leave? How will your family and friends remember you? How will you leave your descendants in the following areas? Give some thought to them and make some changes. In doing so, you will begin to lock in your legacy.

Emotionally: Have you ever stepped back and asked yourself how you treat other people and how that effects them emotionally. I have four children, all under ten years of age. I am acutely aware that they are being shaped emotionally by how I treat them and teach them how to deal with the world. I am especially aware of this from my own background. I can directly trace my emotional shortcomings to the emotional coolness I felt from my own family. Are you raising emotionally healthy kids who are both independent as well as interdependent? Are you helping your spouse to grow emotionally? Give this some serious thought.

Spiritually: In my mind, the “God” question is the most important. You know, I often hear people say that they are just going to let their kids “figure it out on their own.” These same people will show them how to shoot a basketball, trade stocks, and build a tree house, all simply temporal issues, but leave the answers to the biggest question up in the air! Now I am not advocating cramming anything down their throats, just taking the time to helping them find their way. Are you helping and encouraging those around you to find their spiritual life? Are you living an authentic spiritual life that will be your legacy? Give some serious thought to this.

Physically: Now I know what you are thinking: I can’t change my genes. They got what they got and they’ll have to live with it. To a certain extent this is true. I am 5’11 for the rest of my life. I will never be 6 foot, and neither will my kids. What I am talking about though, is to be examples of taking our physical health seriously. The statistics prove that whatever bad habits you have, your kids are likely to do them as well. Why? Because you are their example. This is why I work to stay physically fit. I work out. I lift weights. I eat right (most of the time – I am a sucker for Breyer’s Vanilla Bean Ice Cream). I don’t smoke. I want to leave a legacy of health behind for my kids. True, they can still go astray, but I will do my best to give them a good example to follow. Give this some serious thought.

Financially: There are two primary ways you can leave a financial legacy. First, teach your loved ones about how to handle money (some of you may need to learn yourself first). There are just so many good books on the subject, there is no excuse for not knowing how to handle money. Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a good book to start with, or perhaps The Millionaire Next Door. These will teach you the basics. Secondly, you can leave an inheritance. Now let me be clear on this. This does not have to be after you die. In fact, the more you have, the more I believe you ought to give away while you are alive.

Let’s face it, the older you get, the less need you have for money once the basics are taken care of. It always cracks me up that by the time you can afford a big house, your kids are gone and you don’t need one! Turn the money over early so you can watch the joy of your loved ones spending, investing and giving it! This is of course predicated upon the assumption that you have first taught them how to handle it. If you have, then you should give it away while you’re alive so you can enjoy seeing your legacy in action! Give your financial inheritance some serious thought.

Relationally: What kind of legacy will you leave in regard to how people you know interact relationally with others. When people look at how you interact with others, will they be better off if they develop the same relational habits? Will your legacy be one of love, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and forgiveness? As you live this life, you will see that your legacy grows after you in those you influence day by day. Give the idea of influencing others relationally some serious thought.

Intellectually: I don’t know about you, but I want to challenge people to deeper intellectual thought. In a day and age of People Magazine mentalities, we need people who will challenge us to think deeper. Are you doing anything that will challenge your sphere of influence to intellectual gains? Will those left after you are gone, say that you made them think thoughts they hadn’t before? That you challenged them to be smarter? Give this issue some serious thought.

Functionally: Functionally? Yep. It’s a catchall word. It is how they function. It is all of the above, rolled into one. How will those you influence actually function? This is to a great degree how you function. Are you well rounded? Are you balanced? Do you keep the main things the main things? Is your life functioning well? Make it your goal to live a balanced, functional life so you can leave a legacy of such. Give your life function some serious thought.

I ended each paragraph with a challenge to think seriously about each. These aren’t issues we will solve immediately. They take a lifetime to build and they will ebb and flow. But as you diligently pursue staying on top of them all, you will be locking in that legacy you desire to leave behind!

Pomegranate Health Benefits – What’s All the Fuss About?

Countless studies have shown the benefits of fruit for a person’s health. From all the fruits available in the market today, one fruit tops the popularity list. Know as the “ruby-red super food” and the “miracle fruit”, the pomegranate has earned its popularity because it is thought to possibly help support the body’s natural defenses against Alzheimer’s disease, various cancers, heart diseases, and arthritis.

The pomegranate’s health legacy has not happened by chance. It has been scientifically proven many times over, including by the University of California, that pomegranate ranks the highest of the top 10 antioxidant packed drinks. In their study, pomegranate shows double the amount of antioxidant properties of even red wine and green tea. Antioxidants work to fight off free radicals that can lead to unstable molecules, causing damage to the DNA and cell membranes and in time lead to cancer.

More Health Benefits

• In some countries pomegranate is believed to help in achieving and maintaining a clear skin with a youthful glow, by keeping the blood platelets together.

• It may help reduce the risk of having heart attacks and strokes. Because of the very high levels of antioxidants, pomegranate keeps bad cholesterol from forming, which in turn helps keep the arteries clear of clots.

The National Academy of Science found that pomegranate juice can prevent heart attacks and strokes by decreasing the genetic tendency towards the hardening of the arteries. Studies also showed that those who drank the juice every day for at least three months had an increase in blood flow to the heart which prevents various heart disorders.

• The increase in blood flow to the heart due to the iron contained in pomegranate may also help prevent anemia symptoms that include exhaustion, weakness, dizziness and hear loss.

• Studies have shown that pregnant women receive a great benefit from frequently taking pomegranate juice. The reason this group of women gain from drinking pomegranate juice is because of the fact that the juice contains high levels of folic acid which is exceptionally significant for the proper development of the baby while it is still in the womb of the mother. So if you are a pregnant woman reading this article then you should consider taking pomegranate juice for a healthy pregnancy.

How To Clean A Pomegranate

1. Cut off the crown (you’ll see it) and throw it away..
2. Score and slice the rind (skin) all around, but don’t cut the rind all the way through.
3. Soak the pomegranate face down in cold water for about five minutes.
4. While the pomegranate is still in the bowl of water, break apart the scored rinds, and remove the seeds from the flesh (the seeds will sink to the bottom of your bowl).
5. Remove the rind and membrane from the bowl with a sieve or spoon.
6. Drain the seeds with a sieve and pat dry with a paper towel.

Precaution

The seeds in pomegranates may cause irritation for people with diverticulitis. Like tomato, strawberry and raspberry seeds, pips in pomegranate seeds can get into the diverticulitis of the bowel and cause pain.

Like any foods you wish to include in your daily diet, it is advised you consult your family physician