A Roadmap to Donating to Charity in Your Will in Sydney, NSW

A Roadmap to Donating to Charity in Your Will in Sydney, NSW

When you embark on the journey of estate planning and drafting your Last Will & Testament, thoughts naturally gravitate towards providing for your loved ones. In the intricate tapestry of your Will, where you consider bequeathing assets to children, siblings, or close friends, have you contemplated leaving a benevolent mark through a charitable gift or donation?

This article serves as your guide to infusing your Will with a philanthropic spirit, ensuring your desire to contribute to a chosen charity becomes a poignant part of your legacy.

Unravelling the Bequest in Your Will

A bequest represents an item within your possession designated for a nominated beneficiary after your demise, as stipulated in your Will. During the estate planning process, individuals typically incorporate Specific Bequests, General Bequests, or a combination of both into their Will.

A Specific Bequest outlines individually specified gifts, such as a designated sum of money or a percentage of your bank account, bequeathed to a specific person, group, or organisation.

Conversely, a General Bequest entails the gifting of an entire collection of assets, encompassing items like furniture, a record collection, home contents, or wine.

Nurturing a Charitable Legacy: Steps to Bequeathing Money in Your Will

When constructing your Will, the prospect of leaving a portion or the entirety of your estate to a chosen charity unveils a unique opportunity for a lasting donation without impacting your financial standing during your lifetime. While the bequest to a charity may be the most significant contribution you make, it can also be a relatively modest donation.

Here’s a concise roadmap on how to integrate a charitable bequest:

  1. Select a Charitable Organisation: Choose the charity that aligns with your philanthropic values.
  2. Define the Bequest Type: Determine if your bequest will be specific, general, or a combination.
  3. Decide on the Gift: Specify whether you are gifting money, items, or both.
  4. Incorporate in Your Will: Clearly indicate the charitable bequest, informing your Executor or Next of Kin of your intentions.
Precision in Your Will: Ensuring a Thoughtful Bequest

To avoid potential misunderstandings or disputes, clarity is paramount when incorporating a charitable bequest into your Will. Clearly identify your preferred charity by obtaining their complete and accurate details, including name, address, or ABN. Contacting the charity's Bequests Officer ensures accuracy and allows them to express gratitude and share their intentions for your gift.

In writing your Will, nominate the charitable bequest as a Specific Bequest. For example:

I bequeath to Cancer Council Victoria (ABN 61 426 486 715) the sum of $10,000 for its general purposes.

To mitigate uncertainties due to potential changes in charity names or structures, add the following line after your charitable bequest:

If the gift cannot take effect, then I request my executor to pay the gift to the charitable organisation in Australia that my executor deems most closely aligned with my intended beneficiaries.

Directing Your Estate: A Charitable Gesture

Alternatively, you may opt to allocate a percentage of your residual estate or the entire estate to a charity rather than a specific dollar amount. Ensure you've contacted the charity's Bequests Officer for accurate details.

A typical expression in your Will might be:

I bequeath to <charity name> the entirety (or x %) of my residuary estate, not otherwise disposed of.

Parting Thoughts

This guide aspires to facilitate your journey of including a charitable legacy in your Will. Please be mindful that while it provides insights into preparing your legal Will independently, knowledge about estate planning, financial structuring, or asset ownership is essential. For intricate situations, professional advice is recommended.


Funera Sydney is committed to supporting your philanthropic intentions. To explore incorporating charitable bequests in your Will and receive guidance tailored to your unique circumstances, visit Funera Sydney's estate planning services. Your legacy of compassion starts here.

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