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As the holiday season unfolds and the year draws to a close, it is a good time for introspection and reflection. Amid the festivities and the hustle of everyday life, there lies a valuable opportunity to take some time to pause and consider what truly matters to us and how we may give back to the community.

December, often referred to as the season of giving, marks a time for everyone to embrace the spirit of giving – giving our time, appreciation, and support to those in need. Beyond the exchange of gifts and joyous gatherings, this month serves as a reminder of our collective responsibility to contribute to the well-being of those around us. This may be through volunteering, acts of kindness or charitable donations, the holiday season beckons us to extend our time, hearts, and hands to those in less fortunate positions.

What about leaving a charitable gift in your Will?

Another way to consider giving this holiday season is to consider leaving a charitable gift in your Will. Whether it be supporting educational initiatives, medical research, or community development, the act of giving in a Will allows individuals to express their deepest values and contribute to the causes that resonate most profoundly with their beliefs.

There are different ways to leave a charitable gift in your Will including:

  • A residuary gift: you can leave the balance of your estate to a charity of your choosing after you have made provisions for your family and friends.
  • A percentage of your estate is the nominated portion or fixed percentage of your estate to a charity.
  • A pecuniary gift is a specific amount of money left to a charity.

Points to consider when making a charitable gift

  1. What is the full name of the charity and for what purpose do you want your gift to be used by the charity.
  2. Regularly review the organisation you are leaving a charitable gift to in your Will to ensure it reflects your wishes.
  3. How much or what do you want to give the charity or organisation – clear and precise details are required to avoid ambiguity.
  4. Each charity may have specific requirements or suggested wording which should be considered.
  5. When do you want the charity or organisation to receive the gift? It is important to consider in what circumstances or under what conditions you would like the charity to receive under your Will.

We recommend that if you would like to leave a charitable gift in your Will that you speak to a specialist Wills and Estate planning lawyer to ensure your wish is correctly reflected in your Will.

By understanding the legal aspects, benefits, and considerations associated with charitable gifts in a Will, Australians can navigate the process of leaving a legacy that positively impacts the community and organizations they cherish. In doing so, individuals contribute to the ongoing narrative of philanthropy and social responsibility in Australia.

Here at Lynn & Brown Lawyers we are more than happy to help you set up a charitable bequest in your Will.

About the Author: Hannah is a graduate of both the University of Western Australia and Notre Dame University, having completed a Bachelor of Arts (major in ‘Law and Society’’ and minors in History and Psychology) in 2016 and a Bachelor of Laws in 2018.

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