Leaving a gift in your Will to the Australian War Memorial is a thoughtful way to leave an ongoing legacy.

Many people leave gifts, both large and small, to museums and galleries.

Your bequest can take many forms including cash or securities, real estate, life insurance policies, life income plans, annuities or trusts, cultural property* and works of art*.

What is a Bequest?

A bequest is a statement in your will that indicates how you wish to distribute all or part of your estate. A bequest can be a gift of money or property, such as real estate, shares, artworks or any other form of property.

Types of Bequests

There are various options when making a bequest to the Australian War Memorial. Some examples are:

  • An amount of money (pecuniary bequest);
  • A gift of money where you state the exact amount, nature and purpose of the gift (specific bequest);
  • Appoint the Memorial as an alternative beneficiary, for example if the person or trust named in your will does not survive you or no longer exists at the time of your death then you can nominate the Memorial to receive the benefit in their stead (contingent bequest);
  • An endowment bequest which uses endowment funds to ensure the permanence of the gift. These are managed in a way that protects the original value of the capital against inflation. The original gift stays intact and only the annual income is used;
  • A residuary bequest in which the remainder of your estate is bequeathed to the memorial once all other funds and property have been distributed; and/or
  • A gift to the collection* (where possible intellectual property rights should also be assigned with this gift).

An unrestricted bequest is one which is made without a designated purpose and will assist with the Memorial’s priorities at the time. The Memorial will, however, follow the wishes of the person making a bequest wherever possible. Therefore if you would particularly like to direct your bequest then you may do this. However, please be aware that what may currently be relevant – may in the future prove to be irrelevant and accordingly affect access to use of that income if the terms of the direction are very specific. So where possible, please use terms within the bequest wording that express your wishes but at the same time allow for flexibility.

How and where to make the bequest

The bequest is a clause within your will. As the clauses of a will must be worded definitively so as to avoid ambiguity it is important to consult a financial and/or legal adviser. Such advisors will compose the bequest so that it best meets your wishes and circumstances. They will also ensure that any relevant laws are complied with.

There are two options available in relation to making a bequest to the Australian War Memorial either direct to the Memorial or through the Foundation which is a private company managed by a Board of Directors (the majority of which are independent of the Memorial) and whose purpose is to raise funds to support the functions of the Memorial:

  1. direct to the Australian War Memorial - a Commonwealth Statutory Authority incorporated under the Australian War Memorial Act 1980 (ABN 64 909 221 257 and endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient [1 July 2000]).
  2. through the Australian War Memorial ANZAC Foundation– a private Company established under the Corporations Act (ABN ABN 36 076 006 650 with charitable status and endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient [1 July 2000]).

The Memorial's postal address is:

Australian War Memorial
GPO Box 345
Canberra City ACT 2601

The Foundation’s postal address is:

Australian War Memorial ANZAC Foundation
GPO Box 1914
Canberra ACT 2601

Please note that the Foundation holds charitable status, whereas the AWM does not. Both are endorsed as Deductible Gift Recipient status.

For guidance purposes, specimen forms of wording for bequests are as below:

For a Pecuniary Bequest

I give to (a) The Australian War Memorial (ABN 64 909 221 257) in
the Australian Capital Territory, Australia, the sum of $0.00 free of tax or duty;

(b) The Australian War Memorial ANZAC Foundation (ABN 36 076 006 650), in the Australian Capital Territory, Australia, the sum of $0.00 free of tax or duty.

Such sum is to be applied to the [general purposes] of the Australian War Memorial and I direct that a receipt from an authorised officer of the Australian War Memorial, shall be a good and sufficient discharge to my executors.

For a Residuary Bequest

I give and bequeath /*all the residue of my estates / *one (fraction) share of the residue of my estates / absolutely to

(a) The Australian War Memorial (ABN 64 909 221 257) in
the Australian Capital Territory, Australia, the sum of $0.00 free of tax or duty;

(b) The Australian War Memorial ANZAC Foundation (ABN 36 076 006 650), in the Australian Capital Territory, Australia, the sum of $0.00 free of tax or duty.

Such sum is to be applied to the [general purposes] of the Australian War Memorial and I direct that a receipt from an authorised officer of the Australian War Memorial, shall be a good and sufficient discharge to my executors.

Please notify the Memorial if you are considering making a bequest so that it may be acknowledged during your lifetime.

For further information regarding bequests to the Australian War Memorial please contact the Friends Coordinator at 02 6243 4523 or via email friends@awm.gov.au

*Gifts of property, art or collection items require pre-approval before they may be accepted into the collection. Read more about donating items to the Memorial