There are numerous studies and statistics reporting on the percentage of Australians that die without a will. Some reports put the number of people who die without a will as high as 45%.
Interestingly, and maybe just a bit surprisingly, the same study reported that 97% of Australians think estate planning and having a will is important. Leaving a bequest is an important part of making a will, so let’s take a closer look at the process.
What Is A Bequest?
As they are most commonly understood, a bequest is a gift you leave to a cause you believe in after your family and loved ones have been looked after. For example, you might leave a bequest to a charity, support group, local neighbourhood group, art gallery or other charitable organisation. Bequests are often referred to as the gift that never stops giving.
How Can I Make a Bequest?
There are several different ways you can make a bequest including:
- Residual Bequest – After gifts to your loved ones, the remainder of your estate is left to your cause.
- Percentage Bequest – a predetermined percentage of your entire estate (or the residue of your estate) is allocated to your chosen cause.
- Cash Gift – The simplest way to make a bequest, you set a specific amount.
- Specific Gift – An item or asset (property or art for example) is left to your cause.
- Whole Estate – This usually happens when there aren’t any family or other loved ones.
The wording of your bequest is important. Seek professional legal advice about your will so you can be confident your wishes will be carried out.