Leaving a gift to charity

Posted: Wednesday, 06 September 2017

Leaving a gift to charity

Leaving a charitable bequest in your Will can be a lovely way to create a lasting legacy, to provide continuing support to the causes and communities you care about most.

If you plan to leave a charitable bequest in your Will, it is very important to get professional estate planning advice to ensure that your wishes are fulfilled.  

Our top three tips to consider when leaving a charitable bequest in your Will:

Use the charity’s correct legal name

To make a charitable bequest it is important to identify the entity by the correct legal name, include their A.B.N and possibly their address as some charitable organisations may be known as one name but have a different registered name.

Are you going to state a purpose or leave conditions for your charitable bequest?

You can leave a bequest unconditionally, meaning the charity may deal with your gift as it sees fit, or it can be given with conditions.

Alternatively you can request your gift’s intended purpose; this is not so binding so if your request cannot be fulfilled the residue can go to the intended charity to be used as they see fit. 

Failure to honour the terms of the contract can result in legal action being taken against your nominated charity. If the conditions of your gift are more onerous than beneficial on the nominated charity, they may not accept the gift.  In this case the gift would fail. 

Talk to your family
It is also a good idea to discuss your charitable bequest intentions with your family first so that they can understand why your gift is important to you. 

In Tasmania, if a person dies and their dependants feel that they are left ‘without adequate provision for proper maintenance and support’ they could challenge the estate for ‘further advancement’ under the Testators Family Maintenance Act 1912.

The Public Trustee has the experience you can trust. Our lawyers understand estate matters and deal with thousands of estate cases each year. We ask the right questions so you can make the best possible plan for your estate and your family circumstances.

If you have a Will with the Public Trustee and wish to  include a charitable gift or would like to make a new Will, please contact us on 1800 068 784 or click here to make an appointment