Making a bequest to help save koalas

By including the Australian Koala Foundation in your Will, you will be contributing greatly to preserve Australia's wild places for all the animals who rely on the bush to live. Your bequest may be financial, material, or it may involve a collection like one we have received recently.

Koalas in the wild face a series of threats to their continued survival mostly stemming from destruction of their habitat for human uses and associated threats like cars, dogs and disease.

Their continued survival depends on the retention and effective management of suitable habitat to support Koalas in the wild. Their long-term future cannot be guaranteed in captivity. Since white settlement of Australia over 80% of the Koala's natural habitat has been destroyed and of the remaining 20% almost none is protected. In addition, most of the Koala's remaining habitat occurs on privately owned land much of which is 'prime real estate'. Humans compete with Koalas for land use throughout much of the Koala's range.

How to Make a Will

To be legally valid, Wills must comply with certain legal requirements. For this reason we recommend that legal advice is sought. Most Public Trustees and solicitors can prepare your Will free or for a small charge.

If there is no Will, an estate will be allocated according to a formula under state laws, and if there is no next of kin your estate will go to the State Government.

If you already have a Will you can simply add a supplement to the Will which sets out your instructions for a bequest.

Common Forms of Bequests

A residual bequest :

After making provision for family and friends you can choose to leave what's left (the residue).

A percentage:

Some people decide to share their estate among a number of people and allocate a percentage to beneficiaries. This overcomes the need to review your Will regularly to take account of changes in your estate or to compensate for inflation.

Gifts of property :

Artwork, stocks, bonds, shares, insurance policies, jewelry, antiques, a home or a farm can also be gifted in your Will.

A specified cash sum :

You may specify an amount of cash as a common form of bequest though it is preferable to allocate your estate by one of the above methods.

A suggested wording for your Will is as follows:

"I give, devise and bequeath to the Australian Koala Foundation... (insert here the percentage of the estate or other details) to be used for the general purposes of the Foundation free of all duties both Federal and State. The receipt of the Secretary or other proper officer of the said Foundation shall be sufficient discharge to my trustees".

Review Your Will

It is recommended that you review your Will every few years to take account of changes in your family, the nature and value of your property or how you would like to allocate your estate. For example, if you marry, your existing Will becomes invalid.

If you would like to speak to somebody about making your bequest, please contact:

Lorraine O'Keefe
Manager of Administration and Finance
Australian Koala Foundation
GPO Box 2659 Brisbane Qld 4001
Ph: (07) 3229 7233
Email: [email protected]