Leave a gift in your will

Why leave a gift in your Will?

Whether it’s large or small, when everyday people like you leave a gift in your Will, it creates a ripple effect that makes a big difference in the lives of people around the world. After looking after the needs of your loved ones, leaving a charitable gift (bequest) ensures that the legacy you leave behind is compassionate, meaningful and aligned with the values you carried through life.

Why leave a gift in your Will?

Oxfam’s ultimate vision is a just world without poverty. This means that by leaving Oxfam a gift in your Will, you are supporting a global movement of people working hard to tackle poverty through practical, innovative solutions which help people improve their lives. Whether it’s supporting families displaced by the climate crisis, ending gender discrimination or fighting for justice for the First Peoples of Australia, leaving a gift to Oxfam is a contribution that keeps on giving for generations to come.

How your Will can change lives

When you put Oxfam in your Will, your values and compassion will transform the lives of people all over the world, for many years to come.

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Gender Justice

Discrimination and injustice are major causes of poverty worldwide, and women and girls bear the brunt of it.

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First Peoples Justice

Poverty in Australia is just as harsh as it is in developing countries and it’s our Indigenous Australians who are among the most disadvantaged.

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Economic Justice

The divide between rich and poor undermines progress against poverty. Inequality robs the poorest people of the support they need to improve their lives.

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Climate Justice

We support those most vulnerable to the climate crisis, while fighting to protect the planet.

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Your legacy, tackling poverty together with Oxfam

How to leave a gift in your will

How to write, update or amend a Will

It doesn’t take long to change the world. Our suggested Will wording makes it easy to get started.

Types of gifts to leave in
your Will

Learn about the different types of bequests you can leave in your Will.

Legal help with a bequest

If you’re helping a loved one or client leave a gift in their Will, you can find out more here.

Faqs

Why make a Will?

A Will leaves clear instructions that tell people what you want to happen to your assets after you die. It helps make sure that:
The people responsible for managing your estate know how you want your affairs to be handled

Any dependants such as children are properly taken care of

Your assets are distributed in a way that reflects your values and instructions

If you wish to bequeath a gift to Oxfam, leaving these instructions behind in a legal Will is the only way to ensure that your wishes are followed through with.We recommend that you consult a solicitor or seek legal advice when preparing a Will.

How to write a Will

Writing a Will can sound overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. In Australia, anyone can prepare a Will if they are over 18-years old and deemed to be of sound mind. For a Will to be valid it must be

Written down – you can’t rely on verbally passing on your wishes

Signed and witnessed by two people who aren’t your heir or spouse.

Different States and Territories may have different rules, so it’s recommended that you check any relevant Government websites before you start to make your Will. You can choose to have a trusted professional such as a solicitor help you write your Will or you can write your own using a DIY Wills kits often found online. To write your own Will you must

Speak to a solicitor or legal professional if you have any questions about how to write your Will

Read example Wills available online to understand how to structure it and the appropriate language to use

Download or purchase a DIY Wills kit

Visit the Public Trustee site for you State or Territory to make sure that you understand the services available to you and what it means for life events such as marriage or divorce

Be very specific in your instructions and careful to include as much detail as possible. This avoids the possibility of misinterpretation or your Will one day being deemed invalid (Oxfam can help you find someone to help you write your Will if clear communication is a concern for you)

If you have a relative or business that is connected to you that you wish to exclude from your Will be very clear about this also

File your Will somewhere safe but easily accessible for your loved ones if they need to access it at a later date. Leaving a copy with a solicitor or trusted professional is also a good idea

Remember to update your Will every few years to reflect your circumstances

A Will gives you the power to choose how your assets can benefit your loved ones and adding a bequest to Oxfam ensures you leave a legacy that benefits people all around the world.


How do I update my Will?

If you’ve already made a Will but have decided that you want to update it or make changes, you can

Add a codicil to your existing Will

Choose to revoke the Will and write a new one

Destroy your Will

A Codicil is just an addition that can be added to your Will, and is often all that’s required if you are only making a minor change to your Will. If it’s a large change, you’ll likely be required to write a new Will. To update your Will with a codicil you must

Identify the exact section in your Will that you wish to update and clearly record it with the new information you wish to include

Use the same language in your Will as you do in your codicil

Include a sentence that references your original Will by date

After adding your new provisions, include a sentence indicating that the rest of the Will shall remain as it is

Ensure that the codicil is signed, dated and kept in a safe place with the original Will
If you have any questions or are unsure on how to update your Will, seek the advice of a lawyer or professional.

If you have any questions or are unsure on how to update your Will, seek the advice of a lawyer or professional.

What is a bequest?

A bequest is simply a donation left in your Will to a charity of your choice. It can be the whole amount, a specific amount or percentage of your estate (see more about the types of bequests). For many people who have lived a life of compassion, it is natural to wish to use a portion of the assets they leave behind to help improve the lives of others. Bequests are a popular way to provide support for generations to come. A bequest is also a wonderful way to donate to your charity if you have not been able to during your lifetime. By choosing to leave Oxfam a bequest in your Will, your legacy will help fund the important work that goes into overcoming poverty, injustice and environmental destruction around the world.


Types of bequests

There are many different bequests you can gift in your Will. The type of bequest you wish to leave is entirely up to you

Residuary bequest
Pecuniary bequest
Specific bequest
Contingent bequest
Percentage of estate
Whole estate

See our types of bequests page for more information > 

What happens if there is no Will?

If you pass away without a Will, it’s known as intestacy. Although the rules around intestacy are different depending on which state or territory you live in, most commonly, an intestate estate is simply divided amongst any surviving spouses, de-factos and children. If there is no immediate family to allocate to, more distant relatives will receive portions of your estate. If there are no distant relatives or close friends, your Will is likely to be passed to your state or territory government under Succession Law.This means that without a Will you won’t have a say in who benefits from your legacy, which can lead to family disputes or your wealth being used in ways that don’t reflect the values you carried through life.

Information for solicitors and executors

Are you helping a friend, family member or client include a gift for Oxfam in their Will?Helpful information for solicitors and executors can be found on our Legal help with a bequest page.

For solicitors making a Will

Thank you for helping to make a Will that includes a bequest to Oxfam Australia. Please refer to our suggested wording for different types of bequests and download our Wills Guide for further information.If your client would like their gift to be used for a specific purpose, please contact our Bequests Team to make sure that their wishes can be carried out. To thank your client in person for their generosity, we’d also like to invite them to connect with us and a community of other wonderful individuals who support us in this way. Please ask your client to contact us on 1800 088 110 or at bequest@oxfam.org.au for details of our upcoming community events.

For executors administering a Will

Thank you for making sure that a bequest to Oxfam Australia is properly administered. To finalise the process, please send us the following information

A cover note that includes your contact details, and the full name and last known address of the deceased person
A copy of the final Will and any codicils
A statement of estate accounts

Once the estate is ready to be distributed, we ask that you please post a cheque made payable to Oxfam Australia to:Gifts in Wills Coordinator Oxfam Australia Head Office


I’m ready to do a bequest. Now what?

Fantastic! We are so happy to hear.Here’s what to do next:Decide on the type of bequest. See the types of bequests
Find a solicitor in your area if you need advice or write a will online.
Ensure you use the recommended wording for your bequest: see our will wording page
Email or call to let us know or if you have any questions (details below). We’d love to hear of your bequest and say thank you!

Contact our Bequests Team

If you are ready to make a bequest, have any questions, would like to speak to us or would like us to send you a Will guide in the mail, please contact our bequests team on 1800 088 110, email bequest@oxfam.org.au or use the form below. You can also sign up to keep in touch with us.