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Solicitors and Executors Your Questions Answered

Q. Who should I contact to discuss matters relating to gifts in Wills?
A. In the first instance you should address all enquiries to Shae Spry, our Gifts in Wills Manager. Her contact details are:

Gifts in Wills Manager
Stroke Foundation
Level 7 / 461 Bourke Street
MELBOURNE VIC 3000

Phone number: 1300 194 196  Email: giftsinwills@strokefoundation.org.au

Q. What if my client’s family needs come first?
A. Of course it is only right that your clients should think about their immediate families’ needs first when giving you instructions for their Wills. We are all aware of Family Provision legislation and the consequences of this being ignored when preparing Wills.

But many of your clients will also want to help the good causes that they care about or that have been important to them and their families. The Stroke Foundation has a long history of receiving charitable gifts from our supporters. People including a charitable gift often tell us how happy and proud they are to be able to make a meaningful difference in this way.

Q. Will my client know which gift is the most suitable type to include?
A. Your client may not know what type of charitable gifts they can include in their Will. Our research tells us that the word ‘bequest’ is a confusing and often a misunderstood term to many Australians.

Your clients may need your help to understand the different options that are available to them and figure out what type of charitable gift best suits them.

Over the years we have found that many of our supporters feel most comfortable with including a gift of a proportion of their residuary estate. This ensures that their legacy gifts and named individuals are taken care of first and then a share of whatever is left over can be divided amongst their favourite charities. This will also prevent the value of any fixed pecuniary cash gift being eroded over time by inflation.

Q What is the Stroke Foundation’s correct legal name?
A. As a legal professional you will be only too well aware of the need to correctly identify the rightful beneficiaries to be included in your clients’ Wills. Wrongly identified charities cause Executors legal headaches and long delays when the time comes to distribute the estate.

Many of our supporters refer to us as the Stroke Foundation, but our correct legal name for your purposes is the National Stroke Foundation. Our Australian Business Number (ABN) is 42 006 173 379. The registered address for our National Office is Level 7 / 461 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000.

Q. Do you have any suggested wording for including a gift in my client’s Will?
A. Yes, we have a form of word that we recommend that you use when including a gift to the Stroke Foundation in your client’s Will. This is as follows:

“I give free of all duties or taxes...

[Please insert here the appropriate statement selected from the 6 options below:]

  1. the whole of my estate
  2. [insert number] percent of my estate
  3. the residue of my estate
  4. [insert number] percent of the residue of my estate
  5. the sum of $ [insert value of your gift]
  6. [insert number] of my [insert name of shares] shares.

...to the Stroke Foundation (ABN 42 006 173 379) for its general purposes. The official receipt of the organisation shall be a full and sufficient discharge to my executor.”

You can download a printable version of this Suggested Wording for your Will.

Q. Can my client include specific instructions about how their gift will be used?
A. We know that stroke affects people and their families in many different ways. We appreciate that your client may have a particular interest in supporting a specific area or aspect of our work. For example, supporting our research or education work.

But please bear in mind that the work of the Stroke Foundation is very broad, varied and constantly evolving. We often have to respond to changes in needs, knowledge, practice or treatments. The more flexibility we have to apply your client’s gift in the best possible way at the time that we receive it, the better our chances of stopping stroke in the future.

Including a gift in their Will that supports our work in general terms (for our general purposes) provides the Stroke Foundation with the greatest flexibility to respond to critical priorities in the future.

However, if your client would like their gift to be used for something specific, please speak to our Gifts in Wills Team to discuss their options. We want to help you to ensure that their wishes can be fulfilled and ensure that their gift will not fail.

If your client would like to be involved in deciding how their gift to the Stroke Foundation is to be spent when the time comes, we would be more than happy to help and discuss their wishes.

Q. Is the Stroke Foundation an endorsed charity with Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status?
A. Yes. The Stroke Foundation is a health promotion charity endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) with charity tax concessions (TCC). We are also a charity that has been endorsed as a deductible gift recipient (DGR). This means that the Stroke Foundation is exempt from income tax, Capital Gains Tax and Franking Credits.

It may be beneficial for your client to consider gifting their property or their share portfolio to an endorsed charity, as this may have tax advantages for their Estate.

Q. How should I make distributions of gifts to the Stroke Foundation?
A. You can make cheques payable to the Stroke Foundation and send any correspondence for the attention of the Gifts in Wills Manager to the following postal address:

Stroke Foundation
Level 7 / 461 Bourke Street
MELBOURNE VIC 3000

If you would prefer to make distributions via EFT directly into our bank account please contact the Gifts in Wills Team on 1300 194 196 to discuss.

If you are considering making an interim distribution from the Estate before all of the estate administration is completed, please contact the Gifts in Wills Team on 1300 194 196 to discuss in more detail.