Charities as beneficiaries
Before your client commits to leaving a charitable gift in their Will to a particular charitable cause, it is important to have the following information on the intended beneficiary:
- Correct legal name
- ABN number
- Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status
As a legal professional you will be well aware of the need to correctly identify the rightful beneficiaries to be included in your clients’ Wills. Wrongly specified charities cause Executors legal headaches and long delays when the time comes to distribute the Estate. Organisations do change their names from time to time and join together to form new legal entities. Some organisations have similar names and aspirations. Many use more accessible, marketable or shortened trading names. This is why it is so important to verify a charity’s correct legal name before including it in a Will. Ideally the charity’s ABN number is also included in the clause.
Clients may know the charity only by their trade name or an abbreviation rather than their correct legal name.
Our list of campaign supporters may help you to determine the right organisation.
The national charity regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has a search tool you can use to find the correct name and ABN number of any registered charity.
The right gift for your client
Understanding your client and their needs is one of the most crucial parts of the Estate planning process. We know from the Australian Tax Office, Volunteering Australia and from market research that most Australians support charitable causes during their lifetime.
The following sample questions are easy ways for you to explore your clients’ thoughts about charitable giving and ensure that their philanthropic wishes are reflected in their Will:
- After providing for families and loved ones, many people make provisions in their Wills to help the charities or causes they have supported over the years. Is this something you would like to consider?
- Are you interested in any particular cause or causes or have a particular interest that you would like to support by including a gift in your Will?
- Many charities benefit from the generosity of people who leave a gift to them in their Will. Is this something you would like to do?
Are there any organisations or charities you care about, currently support or that are important to you and your family? If so, would like to support any of those charities or organisations by including a gift in your Will?
We’d love to talk to you about the easy ways you can help others make their mark.