What are the Different Types of Gifts You can Leave in a Will?

Types of gifts you can leave in a Will

Co-written by: Vivian Hondrogianis (Paralegal & JP)

KEY TAKE OUTS

  • There are three different types of gifts that you can utilise when drafting your Will, including specific gifts, general gifts and residual gifts.
  • A specific gift is leaving a particular item of property that you own to your nominated beneficiary.
  • A general gift is leaving an item of property that you wish your Executors to purchase following your passing.
  • A residual gift is giving the remainder or whole of your estate to a nominated beneficiary.
  • You may wish to specify an age in which your beneficiary must attain before receiving their gift.

When drafting a Will, you have the option to leave various types of gifts which each have their own meaning and effect. The three types of gifts are; specific gifs, general gifts and residual gifts.

Firstly, specific gifts are used when you would like to nominate for a person or persons to receive a particular piece of property from your Estate. When leaving a gift of this type, you are required to have owned this property at the time of drafting the Will. An example of this type of gift is “I GIVE my diamond engagement ring to my Daughter”. Utilising the word “my” indicates that you own this item of property and you wish to give such property to your beneficiary. If at the time of your death you no longer own the property specified in your Will, that gift will lapse and the nominated beneficiary will not receive their gift.

Secondly, general gifts are used when you would like to provide a benefit for someone under your Will with an item of property that you do not own at the time of making your Will or at your death, but wish for your nominated Executor to purchase the specified item upon your passing. An example of this type of gift is “I GIVE 1,000 shares with AMP to my Son”. If you do not own this type of property at the time of your death, your Executor is obliged to purchase this gift for the nominated beneficiary, using the funds held in the residual estate. In contrast to the specific gifts, a general gift does not utilise the word “my” as the person making the Will does not own such property.

Finally, residual gifts are used when you want to give your entire estate to your nominated beneficiary. You may elect to provide specific and/or general gifts in the first instance and then wish to give the remainder to your beneficiaries or alternatively you may wish to leave no specific and/or general gifts to your beneficiaries and accordingly leave the whole estate to your nominated beneficiary. An example of this type of gift is “I GIVE the residue and remainder of my estate to my Son and Daughter”.

You may also choose to nominate a specific age that your beneficiaries must attain before receiving their benefit under the Will and this will then be controlled and managed by your appointed Trustee(s) in the Will.


ABOUT KAISHA GAMBELL:

Kaisha Gambell

Kaisha is a Senior Associate at Coutts Lawyers & Conveyancers and heads our Wills and Estate planning team. She has been a successful and established lawyer in the Macarthur Region in excess of 5 years, where she has drafted and acted for many individuals and families with a net worth between $350,000 to 10,000,000.


For further information please don’t hesitate to contact:

Kaisha Gambell
Senior Associate
kaisha@couttslegal.com.au
02 4647 7447

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