Leave a gift in your Will

Leave a gift in your Will

You can help protect nature for the wild ones of tomorrow. When you remember wilderness in your Will, you can create a legacy of protection, capable of preserving our wild beauty, forever.

Your passion for the health and wellbeing of nature can be a gift for the next generation. That’s the legacy you can create.

We understand that a Will isn’t easy to think about, but nature is under threat like no other moment in our lifetime, so it’s a conversation we must have. 

A gift in your Will can support our work for years to come, laying the foundation for the big challenges we face as we confront Australia’s extinction and deforestation crises. It allows us to plan ahead, with confidence, and make the kinds of bold commitments that are essential to protect the places we love. 

If you have any questions about the Wilderness Society’s Gift in Wills program, please contact our Forever Wild Officers on 1800 030 641 or giftsinwills@wilderness.org.au.

Every gift, no matter the amount, helps protect our wild places forever.

If you’ve already included the Wilderness Society in your Will, let us know so we can thank you properly!

It also gives us a chance to welcome you to Forever Wild⁠—our growing group of supporters who have made the greatest commitment to nature there is: ensuring its care for the wild ones of tomorrow. From the tallest Mountain Ash tree to the smallest Fairy Possum, your legacy will be enjoyed by nature-lovers like you long into the future.

Become Forever Wild

If you'd like to know more about leaving a gift in your Will, please get in touch with our friendly team!

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How to leave a Gift in Will

Every Gift in Will, no matter how big or small, can create a legacy of protection, capable of preserving our wild beauty, forever. 

A Will is a legally binding document that lets you say what you want to happen to your property after you are gone. 

Everyone over the age of 18 should have a valid Will. If you do not have a Will, you could lose the opportunity to give the people you care about the things you most value. 

When creating or updating your Will, provide for your family and friends first and then reflect on whether you can also include a gift to the Wilderness Society. 

Step 1: Speak to your family and loved ones 

This is a personal decision for you to make, but we recommend letting your loved ones know that you're planning to leave a gift to the Wilderness Society. 

Step 2: Decide what kind of gift to leave 

There are three main ways to make a Gift in Will to the Wilderness Society. 

  1. A residual bequest
    You can make a gift of the residue (or remainder), or a percentage of the residue, of your estate once specific gifts and expenses have been taken care of. 
  2. A specified amount
    You can make a specific bequest by simply stating the dollar amount in your Will that you wish to leave to the Wilderness Society. 
  3. An asset
    You may wish to make a gift of a specific asset, for example: real estate, shares or bonds. 

Step 3: Choose your executor 

You should select between one and four people who will be able and willing to ensure your wishes within your Will are carried out. You can choose your bank, solicitor, friends or relatives. In the absence of a suitable executor, the Wilderness Society cannot act as an executor for your estate and we would recommend you get in touch with your local Public Trustee who will be able to help. 

Step 4: Get the help of a professional 

Your Will is an important legal document and a solicitor or public trustee can help you ensure that your paperwork is in order, worded correctly and presented in the right way. In order to make this as easy as possible we have included suggested wording on this page, which you can take to your solicitor for guidance. The cost of seeing a solicitor varies depending on who you see, however it is a small price to pay for the reassurance that your wishes will be carried out. 

Step 5: Make your Will 

Your Will must be in writing (handwritten, printed or typed) and include specific wording. It must be signed and dated on every page. Your signature must be witnessed by two people who are not named as beneficiaries of your estate. They both need to sign their own name on every page of your Will. Your solicitor will be able to assist you. 

Step 6: Suggested wording 

On behalf of Australia’s wilderness and wildlife, thank you for considering leaving a bequest in your Will. Below is the suggested wording for your Will. It is not compulsory to use this exact wording, however it will minimise any misunderstandings and ensure your wishes are carried out. 

“I bequeath to The Wilderness Society Ltd. (ABN: 18 611 229 086) for the purpose of fostering and restoring wilderness in Australia [a specified sum], or [specified items], or [the residue of my estate] free of all duties and the receipt of the Secretary or other authorised officer for the time being shall be a complete and sufficient discharge for the executor(s).” 

Personal requirements 
Make note of your funeral arrangements, whether you would like to be buried or cremated and any other specific requests. If you would prefer donations to your favourite charities rather than floral tributes at your own funeral, it is a good idea to state the preference in your Will so your executor can ensure your wishes are carried out. 

Step 7: Keep your Will in a safe place 

Store your Will in a safe place and let your executor know where it's stored. You can lodge it with a bank in a 'Safe Custody' envelope or with a solicitor or trustee company. Be sure to keep a copy for yourself. You may want to send a copy to major beneficiaries, family members and your executor. 

Step 8: Tell the people who care 

Share the news of your decision with close family, as well as the location of where your Will is kept. Wherever you choose to store your Will, it’s vital to tell those people who matter most to you where to find it.

Forever Wild

By leaving a gift in your Will to the Wilderness Society, you will be Forever Wild.

When you leave a gift in your Will, you become a member of our Forever Wild community—a dedicated group of supporters who share a deep affection for nature. 

As a Forever Wild member, you’ll be invited to special events and activities, personalised forest tours, and information sessions with our senior campaigners and guest speakers. 

If you've already left a gift in your Will, we would love the opportunity to thank you for your future support. You can let us know about your decision by calling or emailing us. Alternatively, you may like to ask your solicitor to notify us on your behalf. When you let us know, you can be assured we are aware of your wishes. 

Confidentiality of your advice will be respected at all times. 

Find out more 
If you’d like to find out more about our Forever Wild program or how to leave a gift in your Will to the Wilderness Society, please contact our Legacy Officers on 1800 030 641 or giftsinwills@wilderness.org.au.

Gifts in memory

Donating in memory of a loved one 

Sometimes family and friends wish to celebrate the life of a loved one by making a donation to the Wilderness Society in their memory. To honour a lifelong nature-lover, this can be a wonderful gesture in lieu of flowers. 

Donate in lieu of flowers at the funeral 

If you’d like friends and family to donate to the Wilderness Society instead of buying flowers, we can send our 'In Lieu of Flowers' envelopes to you or the funeral director ahead of the event. These special envelopes make it simple to collect and return donations. 

Donate by advertising in the death notices 

Many people choose to honour the memory of a loved one in the death notices. If you’d like to use this space to encourage friends and family to make a donation, here is some suggested wording you can use:

In memory of ____________________
Please donate to the Wilderness Society in lieu of flowers on 1800 030 641. 

How donations are acknowledged

We’ll send a letter to the family of the deceased to notify them of your kind donation. For privacy reasons, we will not disclose the amount of the donation. We will also send a tax-deductible receipt to the person donating—every gift, large or small, makes a difference. 

Requesting donations in your memory 

A gift to nature lasts much longer than the flowers at a funeral—and for many of us, it’s something we’d like at our own funerals. It’s a good idea to state this preference in your Will so that your executor and ensure this wish is met. If you have any questions about bequests or donating money on behalf of loved ones, please don’t hesitate to call our friendly staff on 1800 030 641 or email giftsinwills@wilderness.org.au.