Bequest FAQ

What is a bequest?

A bequest is a donation, legacy or endowment - usually left in a will. A bequest to Friends of the Earth Melbourne would help make our campaigns more effective. It means less time spent on labour-intensive fund-raising and allows us to engage in longer-term campaign planning. For Friends of the Earth Melbourne it may also eventually allow us to purchase a building to house our campaigns which does not come with the heavy ongoing cost of rent.

What are the different types of bequests that I can leave?

No matter the size of your estate, FoE appreciates any contribution to our work to ensure social and environmental justice.

Residual Bequest - suggested
This means that all other business of your estate is looked after first and then any left over amount would be bequeathed to Friends of the Earth. If you have family, friends and other loved ones to look after then this option allows you to ensure that they are looked after first, and then any residual amount is donated to Friends of the Earth.

Suggested wording
“I bequeath to Friends of the Earth Melbourne (ABN: 68 918 945 471) the rest and residue of my Estate free of all duties and taxes to be used for the general purposes of the Association and the receipt of the Secretary or other proper officer of the said Association shall be sufficient discharge to my Trustee.”

Percentage Bequest
You can choose to leave a percentage of your estate to Friends of the Earth - no matter the size.

Suggested wording
“I bequeath to Friends of the Earth Melbourne (ABN: 68 918 945 471)…..% of my Estate free of all duties and taxes to be used for the general purposes of the Association and the receipt of the Secretary or other proper officer of the said Association shall be sufficient discharge to my Trustee.”

Specific Bequest
You can choose to leave specified amount of money or property to Friends of the Earth in your will. If you do decide to leave property, then Friends of the Earth must be given permission to sell the property so that we can use the funds to fight for social and environmental justice. If you are considering this option, please check in with out Membership & Fundraising Coordinator to ensure that any goods are able to be sold without too much administrative burden.

Suggested wording
“I bequest to Friends of the Earth Melbourne (ABN 68 918 945 471) the sum of $……. and/or the following property and/or the following items: …… free of all duties and taxes to be used for the general purposes of the Association and the receipt of the Secretary or other proper officer of the said Association shall be sufficient discharge to my Trustee.”

Alternative Bequest
You can make provision that, if any named beneficiary cannot accept your bequest, then Friends of the Earth Melbourne (ABN: 68 918 945 471) will benefit.

Suggested wording
“Should any beneficiary predecease me, or be unable or unwilling to accept the specified bequest, I bequeath that portion of my estate to Friends of the Earth Melbourne (ABN 68 918 945 471).”

Life insurance and superannuation policies
Subject to the terms and conditions of your policy, Friends of the Earth may be able to be named as the beneficiary of a life insurance or superannuation policy. Please call (03) 9419 8700 to speak to, Phil our Membership and Fundraising Coordinator who will be able to investigate this for you.

What is the best kind of bequest to leave to Friends of the Earth?

Ultimately, this is your decision and we encourage you to discuss this with family, friends and loved ones and also lawyer if you feel you need further advice. A list of FoE friendly solicitors can be found here or contact your local community legal centre.

We do encourage you to use a residual bequest if you have family, friends and other loved ones to look after.

I don’t have a will, I wouldn’t even know where to start?

You can pick up will kits online and from selected solicitor’s offices or you can contact your local community legal centre who will be able to assist you in making a will.

It is legal for you to draw up your own will, but it must be:

  • In writing (typed or handwritten)
  • Signed by you in the presence of two witnesses (not beneficiaries)
  • Signed by your witnesses in your presence

Once you make your will it is important to keep it up to date with any changes, and store in a secure place. You can often lodge them with a solicitor in a ‘Safe Custody’ envelope and also send copies to trusted family, friends and beneficiaries.

Do I need to get legal advice before changing my will to add a bequest?

We recommend that you seek specific taxation and legal advice from qualified practitioners. They will be able to give details on the different types of bequests and what this may mean for you and your family. Following all the legal formalities ensures that your will will be less likely to be subject to any legal challenges. The appointment should not take long and will cost some money.

Please let your legal advisor know that FoE has tax-deductibility gift recipient (DGR) status, and all donations are exempt from Australian Income Tax.

You can contact your local community legal centre who will be able to assist you in making a will.

Should I discuss adding a bequest to Friends of the Earth to my will with my family, friends and loved ones?

It is important to discuss that you would like some of your estate to go towards the fight for social and environmental justice with your family, friends and loved ones. This will ensure that your wish to make a bequest to Friends of the Earth will be carried out.

Can adding a bequest to my will be done anonymously?

Yes. Whilst we like to honour the memory of benefactors and acknowledge their contributions, we respect the right to privacy. Please call +61 (03) 9419 8700 to speak to our Membership and Fundraising Coordinator who will be able to have a private conversation with you about this.

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