Frequently asked questions about leaving a gift in your Will

Below are some frequently asked questions about making a bequest to Oxfam New Zealand. If you have any other questions, please get in touch with Maria Augutis (email maria.augutis@oxfam.org.nz or phone 0800 600 700 or 09 355 6500) who will be happy to talk to you confidentially.

What is a Will?

A Will is a written document containing your instructions as to who gets your belongings (“estate”) when you die.

What is a legacy or bequest?

A legacy or bequest is a sum of money, items of property, or possessions left in your Will to individuals, groups, organisations and/or charities.

There are a number of different ways to include Oxfam New Zealand in your will.

Bequest of all or a share of net estate – the net estate is the amount left after all other gifts have been made. Many Oxfam supporters find this is the simplest way to support us after ensuring that provision has been made to those closest to them.

Fixed sum bequest – this is a bequest for a specific amount of money. Solicitors often advise that bequests of this kind be regularly reviewed to allow for inflation.

Specific gifts/bequests – your gift need not be cash. You can give shares, bonds, jewellery or valuables, an insurance policy or even real estate property.

We deeply appreciate your bequest - however big or small your gift is, you can be sure that it will mean a lot to the people we work with.

What happens if I don't have a Will?

If you die without making a Will, then there are laws that determine what happens to your money and property, which might be quite different to what you would have wanted. Sadly, many people in New Zealand die without making a Will, often resulting in problems for those left behind and sometimes resulting in the estate going into the hands of the Government.

When is a good time to make a Will?

Now. None of us knows what the future holds. If you are over 18 then it’s a good idea to have a Will.

How will Oxfam use the gift in my Will?

Your legacy to Oxfam is a gift to help poor people change their lives for the better, for good. Oxfam is driven by the belief that in a world rich in resources, poverty is an injustice that must be addressed. You can be certain a bequest will help us to support people to access safe water and sanitation, to build a sustainable livelihood, to provide education and healthcare to their children, and to live free from persecution and violence.

Can I specify how this donation will be used by Oxfam?

The nature and emphasis of our work can change over time, and as it is likely to be many years before we receive gift in your Will it’s generally best to not be too specific in your Will about how you want the bequest applied.

The main concern here is that we don’t want to find ourselves in the unenviable position of being unable to accept the gift in your Will you had intended. Instead, we ask that you trust our expertise to know how to use the gift where it is most needed in order to continue our mission. If you would like to discuss any specific wishes you may have, please do get in touch with us.

Who should write my Will?

Wills are important legal documents, and we recommend that you use a solicitor or qualified Will writer (recognised by a professional body) to draw up your Will. The cost is minimal, but getting your wishes correctly and legally recorded now will save your family or executor time and money in the future. It will also bring peace of mind to know that your Will is legally binding. The New Zealand Law Society and your local Citizens Advice Bureau can help you find a solicitor if you don’t already have one.

How do I go about leaving a gift in my Will to Oxfam?

We have help with preparing your Will. If you need more information, please contact Maria (email maria.augutis@oxfam.org.nz or phone 0800 600 700 or 09 355 6500) who will be happy to talk to you confidentially.

If I've left a gift to Oxfam in my Will, should I tell you?

It is really helpful if you can let us know that you have included us in your Will. This information will always be treated in complete confidence. There's no need to tell us the value of your gift (unless you want to); just knowing we have a source of future income helps us to plan ahead with our long-term work.

We would also like to have the opportunity to thank you and to answer any questions you may have about the work of Oxfam New Zealand and our bequest programme. If you are happy to let us know about your bequest, please fill in this confidential pledge form (PDF 17 KB).

Does Oxfam have any suggested wording that I could use in my Will?

The following wording is only a guide and Oxfam New Zealand suggests that you consult a solicitor regarding their preferred wording. The particular wording used in your Will may depend on the form and content of the rest of your Will.

For a bequest of all or part of your estate:
“I give to Oxfam New Zealand (registered charity number CC24641), Level 1, 14 West St, Newton, Auckland 1010, the residue [or % share of the residue] of my estate absolutely and I direct that (i) The proceeds may be used for the general purposes of Oxfam and (ii) A receipt signed by a person for the time being authorised by the Board of Oxfam shall be good and sufficient discharge to my executors.”

For a fixed sum bequest:
“I give to Oxfam New Zealand (registered charity number CC24641), Level 1, 14 West St, Newton, Auckland 1010, the sum of $............ and I direct that (i) The proceeds may be used for the general purposes of Oxfam and (ii) A receipt signed by a person for the time being authorised by the Board of Oxfam shall be good and sufficient discharge to my executors.”

For a bequest of individual items:
“I give to Oxfam New Zealand (registered charity number CC24641), Level 1, 14 West St, Newton, Auckland 1010, [my shares in XYZ company/jewellery/ personal effects] and I direct that (i) The proceeds may be used for the general purposes of Oxfam and (ii) A receipt signed by a person for the time being authorised by the Board of Oxfam shall be good and sufficient discharge to my executors.”