Planning your Will to ensure your wishes are carried out.
A gift in Will, also known as a bequest, is a contribution left to a person, not-for-profit organisation, or charity of your choice, as stated in your Will. Below you will find information to help prepare and word your Will.
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document that sets out what you want to happen to your personal assets after you pass away. The assets you leave when you pass away is known as your 'estate'. Your Will gives instructions on how your estate will be distributed and can also include your wishes about other matters, such as burial.
Why making a Will in Australia is important
Having a valid Will is one of the most important things you can do to protect and support your family members, loved ones, friends, and favourite charities.
If you were to pass away without a valid Will, decisions on how your estate is distributed may be subject to a court ruling. A valid and/or legally binding Will is the only way you can be sure your affairs will be managed as you prefer.
Although making a Will requires some forethought, you will find the process reassuringly straightforward.
While you can make a Will by yourself, it is a good idea to get expert advice.
Whether you’re making a Will for the first time, or choosing to update an existing one, we suggest consulting a solicitor, financial planner or accredited Wills and estates specialist.
Writing a new Will with Safewill
You may choose to write a Will yourself if your wishes are relatively straightforward or if you want to save money on legal fees. Cancer Council Victoria has partnered with one of Australia's leading online Will’s writing platforms, Safewill to support people writing their Will, and to help make the process easy and affordable.
Through the online service that Safewill offers, you can produce a simple, legally binding Will that is reviewed by Safewill's legal advisers. This will help you protect the people and charities that mean the most to you.
Organising your Will online helps you create an official legal document, and you can complete your Will in less than 20 minutes. Our partnership with Safewill offers a 50% discount, allowing you to prepare your Will today for just $80.
Start your easy, stress-free online Will process here.
Amending an existing Will
If you already have a prepared Will, there are still ways to make amendments. Revising your Will to include Cancer Council Victoria could be as easy as adding a “codicil”. A codicil is a separate document that is kept with your Will and read alongside it.
It’s best to discuss this option with your solicitor who will advise you if they can add a codicil or whether it would be best to update your Will.
Seeking legal advice
If you’re writing a Will for the first time, or updating an existing one, and are uncertain about how to proceed, we advise you to engage a solicitor, financial planner or accredited Wills and estates specialist. If you don’t have one already, you can search for a local professional.
Making sure your Will is valid
For a Will to be formally valid it must be:
- in writing
- intended to be your Will
- signed by you on each page in front of at least two witnesses
- dated at the time of signing
A Will is invalid if it is made by a person who does not:
- make the Will freely and voluntarily
- have testamentary capacity
- intend to make a Will
Keeping your Will up-to-date
It’s important to keep your Will up-to-date. It’s a good idea to review your own Will every few years, to make sure it still reflects your wishes and assets. You should also review it whenever circumstances change. When big life events such as marriage, divorce, having children, buying or selling property and retirement happen, it is a good time to review, create, update or change your Will.
Want to talk about leaving a bequest?
How to word your bequest to Cancer Council Victoria
When including a charitable gift to Cancer Council Victoria in your Will it is important to use the correct wording to ensure your wishes are legally valid.