Gifts in wills
The law is often the last line of defence in the protection of our shared climate and natural environment. The Environmental Defenders Office is the most impactful environmental legal services organisation in the Australia Pacific and leaving a gift in your will is one of the most effective ways you can ensure our vital work continues into the future.
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Six steps to preparing
Choose an executor
The person or people you nominate in your will to administer your estate are called executors. They might be friends, family members, professional advisors or even your bank.
Sometimes it is difficult to identify someone suitable to act as executor. In this case, and if you are intending on leaving your entire estate to EDO, the CEO of the Environmental Defenders Office is able to act as executor.
Prepare a valid will
If you don’t usually pay for financial or legal advice, it can be easy to assume that a lowcost will-kit or DIY online will is the best value option, but making a will through a solicitor need not be expensive.
As a legal services organisation we recommend against using online will-kits and advise contacting a reputable and qualified practitioner to draft your will, especially if you have a large and/or complex estate, have been divorced and/or remarried, have property abroad, or own a business.
Updating an existing will
It is important to keep your will up to date. Circumstances that might give cause to updating a will include having children, marriage or divorce, purchasing a property, or the death of a family member.
If you have a valid and current will which reflects your marital status, financial circumstances and intended gifts, you can speak to your solicitor for advice on how to amend your will to include a gift to the Environmental Defenders Office at any time.
Discuss your decisions
When you have finalised your will, talking with family and friends about your wishes will help to ensure they are carried out.
Keep your will secure
Once your will has been signed and witnessed, keep the original in pristine condition somewhere safe. If you prepare your will with a solicitor they will generally keep the original for you in safe custody. It is important that you let your executor know where your original will is kept and it’s helpful to provide them with a copy.