People often think about those who are closest to them, when making a will. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing that, many Australians are starting to leave money to charities in their wills. When doing so, it is essential that legal requirements are all fulfilled, to ensure that the gift is going to actually get to your charity of choice. Simply writing down the name of a charity that you remember is not a good idea. There are more things to consider.
Things to Consider
When naming a charity in your will, it is important to consider the following:
- The charity’s name must be included, or the name of the association.
- You must indicate if it is actually a charity, or some other body.
- Your charitable bequest needs to be made in the form preferred by the charity, if there is one.
- You must find out whether you need to account for any taxes or estate regulations that might be imposed upon your gift.
Double Check the Terms of Your Bequest
It is important to ensure that your gift will actually go to the charity that you have chosen. For starters, be sure that you have the name of the charity absolutely correct. There are a lot of different charities, and you cannot simply use a general term, or assume that you have the name right. While you might have given to the charity some time ago, it might not exist any more. If the charity does not exist any more, you can choose to have the executor of your will give the gift to a similar organisation. This is a good option for people who want their bequest to go to a deserving charity, no matter what.
If you leave your money to a body that is not actually a valid charity, the bequest might fail. Without leaving stipulations in your will to cover this type of occurrence, you will never know where your money will end up.
Ensuring Your Gift Goes to a Charitable Cause
Instead of giving a gift to an existing charity, a person can create one in their own name. This can be done in the form of a foundation, or a charitable fund. Something like this might carry on indefinitely, which is a welcoming thought to many people following similar trends. If you decide to take this path, you need to follow the requirements that are specified by the law. It is not just a matter of including the request in your will.
Getting It Right Is Important
Going through the effort to leave something to a charity is a beautiful idea. You certainly do not want to risk messing this up. If you plan to bequest a gift to a charity, you should have an appropriate legal representative help you to make sure the bequest is in fact valid. Setting up fail-safes is also a good idea, to ensure that your money will somehow go where it is needed the most.