It's surprising how many people say how they would like their property distributed after their death, but never actually write a Will. One third of all Australians die intestate – that is, without leaving a Will. Your Will can ensure that your family, friends and charitable institutions that you hold dear, will receive exactly what you intended, without legal tangles.
A Will is a written statement setting out in plain language how you wish your assets to be distributed after your death. It names the people or non-profit organisations to whom you want to leave cash or property and what you want to leave them.
No matter how simple your wishes or how modest your assets, you should prepare a Will and review it periodically to reflect your present situation.
DRAFTING YOUR WILL
Your professional advisor can translate your wishes into proper legal form. Some points to remember are:
You should make fair provision for immediate family. Your spouse or children may challenge your Will in Court if they think that you have not left them enough.
In the event that you may outlive your named beneficiaries, then you can provide for this possibility by naming a non-profit organization such as the Rabbinical College as your residual beneficiary, even though the Rabbinical College may be a Primary Beneficiary to receive a specific gift.
Remember the effect inflation may have on any specified amounts mentioned in your Will. They may be only worth a fraction of their current value when finally distributed. Hence, this may be avoided if a percentage share of the estate is specified rather than a fixed dollar sum.
When a bequest is made to a non-profit organisation such as the Rabbinical College, the institution would prefer if the words 'for the general purposes of' are added, rather than specifying the use of the gift. In this way your gift can be allocated to existing priorities of that organization.
In your Will, you should nominate one or two executors responsible for carrying out the terms of your Will. The responsibilities of the Executor can be quite onerous. He or she must:
Identity and take control of all of the assets of the estate.
Obtain the 'Grant of Probate' to do as the Will instructs.
Ensure any taxes, expenses and other debts are paid, collect any monies due, if necessary the sale of any property, then transfer the balance to the beneficiaries as directed by the Will.
So obviously, it is in your best interest to appoint a Trustee Company, a Solicitor or other professional as Executor. If you want your spouse or friend to have some involvement in managing your Estate, such a person may act as a co-advisor with the professional advisor.
KEEP YOUR WILL IN A SAFE PLACE
Now that you have formalised your Will, do not neglect it so no-one can locate it. You may deposit it with your Solicitor, Trustee Company, Bank or Executor. If you want it at home, it's safer to retain a copy and leave the original with one of the above-mentioned. At all times your Executor and your next-of-kin should know of its location.
HOW YOU CAN ASSIST THE RABBINICAL COLLEGE IN YOUR WILL
Your generosity is needed when making or amending your Will. For over 40 years the Rabbinical College of Australia and New Zealand has been able to meet the needs of the Jewish community thanks to funds received from voluntary contributions. Today we need the support of the community more than ever. Bequests, legacies or gifts are very important and urgently needed to enable the College to continue to provide its services to the community.
The Rabbinical College, Australia's first institute of tertiary Jewish studies, was established in 1966. Today the College attracts students not only from Melbourne and Sydney, but overseas as well. It has earned a reputation as one of the finest Yeshivos in the world. The Rabbinical College teaches the true values of Judaism to the youth of today, preparing them to become the community leaders of tomorrow. Comprehensive courses of study in all fields of Jewish learning are combined with practical knowledge gained through community service. The College is open to all young men regardless of prior knowledge or previous life style. Over one thousand graduates who are learned in and dedicated to Torah Judaism stand as living testimony to the accomplishments of the College.
It you do plan to remember the Rabbinical College in your Will, please note the following points:
If naming more than one non-profit organisation, it is a good idea to specify the shares of the estate rather than specific sums.
If you have already made a bequest to the Rabbinical College we would value the opportunity to thank you personally in advance rather than your Executor.
Remember to use our full legal name: RABBINICAL COLLEGE OF AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
FORMS OF BEQUEST (which may be used in a will)
I give devise and bequeath (free of all taxes, duties or probate) to the Rabbinical College of Australia and New Zealand of 67 Alexandra Street, East St. Kilda, Victoria.
A. A fixed percentage of my Estate.
(or if specific sum of monies, real estate or personal property, describe same)
B. A fixed percentage of my residuary Estate.
to be applied for the general purposes of the College and I declare that the receipt of the Executive Director of the said College shall be sufficient discharge to my Executors for payment thereof.
Should you require further information or assistance please do not hesitate to contact:
Mr Avrohom Procel
Rabbinical College of Australia & New Zealand
PO Box 67
Balaclava, VIC 3183
Phone: +61 3 9525-9165
Fax: +61 3 9525-9970
Your gift can in so many ways help improve the standard of education at the Rabbinical College, and give you the satisfaction of knowing that your participation in our work will be forever ongoing.