By remembering Mercy Ships in your Will, you can help save and transform the lives of future generations. Your bequest can help children and adults to see, walk or smile for the first time. You could even transform the lives of whole communities through one of our many development projects. Imagine funding a health clinic, safe water supply or a livestock or agricultural program for an entire village.
Wills are important as they provide you with the opportunity to provide for the security of your loved ones… and leave a gift for a cause close to your heart. Having a valid Will is the only way of ensuring your wishes are honoured.
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document containing your instructions about the distribution of your assets and property upon your death. To be valid, it must be executed and witnessed in accordance with legal requirements.
What can I do in a Will?
A Will allows you to say exactly what you want to happen to your assets and property. The Executor, as administrator of your Will, is bound by law to distribute your estate in accordance with your instructions.
What happens if I don’t make a Will?
If you don’t have a Will, when you pass away your estate is allocated according to law. Under Intestacy Rules, your estate is allocated between your surviving relatives according to a set formula. If you have no surviving relatives, your property passes to the crown. This means that without a Will, who is helped is not decided by you.
How can my Will help?
Your Will allows you to help those you value most. It also presents you with the opportunity to provide gifts to the charities close to your heart. This is known as a “bequest”.
What is a bequest?
Bequests are a simple but incredibly powerful way to provide support for the causes that matter to you. They transform your Will into one of the most potent tools for change there is, with little or no impact on your lifestyle today.
What is a residuary bequest?
There are different ways you can remember Mercy Ships in your Will, but the bequest often used is the “residuary bequest”. Residuary bequests are simply a gift of what is left of your estate – or a percentage thereof – after all your other gifts, taxes and debts have been fulfilled. As they are not specific amounts of money, this sort of bequest keeps its value regardless of inflation over the years. It means the gift you include today is worth as much when the time comes to put it to work to transform lives. There are other bequest options you may wish to discuss with your solicitor.
Does marriage or divorce affect a Will?
Marriage after the Will revokes the Will. Although state laws vary, generally if you are divorced after you have made your Will, any provisions in favour of a spouse will be of no force or effect.
Do I need legal advice?
Mercy Ships recommends seeking legal advice when preparing your Will as there are many factors to be considered and strict rules about how it is to be signed and witnessed. Evidence may be needed to confirm that your capacity to make a Will was not impaired at the time it was made.
How do I word a bequest?
Suggested wording for a simple residuary bequest to Mercy Ships is as follows:
I ________ give, devise and bequeath to Mercy Ships Australia Ltd, 4/24 Bulcock St, Caloundra, in the State of Queensland, Australia, free from all duties and taxes, the following ____ percentage OR the remainder of my estate and I declare that the receipt of the Mercy Ships Managing Director or other authorised officer shall be sufficient discharge to my trustees who shall not be obligated to see the application thereof.
How can Mercy Ships help?
If you have any questions, or would like to speak to someone about making a bequest to Mercy Ships, please contact us on 1300 739 899. We have trained staff that would be more than happy to talk to you about this important decision.