How to leave a gift in your will
How to write a Will
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.
You can choose to have a trusted professional such as a lawyer help you write your Will or you can write your own using a DIY Wills kit.
To write your own Will you can:
- Read example Wills online to understand how to structure it and the appropriate language to use
- Download or purchase a DIY Wills kit
- Speak to a lawyer or professional if you have any questions about how to write your Will
- 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
Wording for your Will
“I give, devise and bequeath, free of all duties and taxes, *____________________________________ to Oxfam Australia (ABN 18 055 208 636) of 355 William St West Melbourne VIC 3003 for its general purposes. An authorised receipt from Oxfam Australia will be a sufficient discharge for the executor(s) or trustee without seeing to the final distribution of the funds.”
*Insert one of the following:
- the whole (or …%) of the residue of my estate
- the whole (or …%) of my estate
- the sum of $ (amount)
- (Details of a particular asset, such as shares or property.)
How do I update my Will?
- Amend your Will be adding a section, knowing as adding a ‘codicil’ to your existing Will
- Choose to revoke the Will and write a new one
- Destroy your Will
Or when you visit your solicitor, take a copy of our wording (above) with you and they can simply update your existing Will.