Surprise will

By Audrey SomnardLex KlerenMisch Pautsch Switch to French for original article

Passing on part of their estate to an NGO on their death is becoming a popular choice in Luxembourg. It is a decision that must be thought through, but which remains above all personal. Here are some explanations.

Giving to a charity, in a crisis or to honour the memory of a loved one, is an almost common gesture in Luxembourg. Making a bequest, i.e. making an NGO the beneficiary of a certain sum or part of one's assets in one's will, is a lesser-known gesture, and above all more taboo because death generally makes one uncomfortable. If NGOs benefit from this particular way of giving, they are reluctant to communicate on the subject.

The Red Cross is an NGO that is well known to Luxembourgers, and its activities are very diverse: it is present for international crises as well as for welcoming refugees and other vulnerable populations in Luxembourg. The latter provides brochures for bankers and notaries, but refuses to be proselytised. The NGOs are walking a tightrope: making the legacy known, but not advertising it. "It's a delicate subject, we remain discreet because we don't want anyone to feel pressured in this way", explains Luc Scheer, member of the board of the Luxembourg Red Cross. For him, "the legacy is the ultimate act of trust, and we are here to act in the long term", the NGO must be keen to reassure potential donors.

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