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New national SPCA results in legacy wording changes

16 November 2017

The 39 separate SPCA centres throughout New Zealand became one national organisation from 1 November 2017 and the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Incorporated has issued guidance on appropriate wording for legacies. 

The SPCA says legacies are its largest source of funding. The new national structure has required consultation with lawyers, executors and trustees of estates to ensure the change in structure is balanced with meeting the wishes of willmakers.

"If a gift is left to the 'general purposes' of the SPCA it will be used where it is needed most to help animals throughout the country. This will allow us to be reactive and help areas most in need," a SPCA spokesperson says.

"However, we understand many people have a strong affinity to their local SPCA centre and when people leave a bequest that is specifically tied to a local area we will make sure that we act in accordance with their wishes by allocating the funding to that area."

The SPCA says its preferred wording for a bequest is as follows:

"I give [a specified share of the residue/or 'the sum of'/or a specified bequest] to the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Incorporated (RNZSPCA) for its general purposes and I declare that the receipt of the appointed officer of the Society shall be full and sufficient discharge for the said legacy.

"I further declare that at the date of my death or the date of distribution of my estate, if any charity named in my will does not exist or has amalgamated with another charity or has changed its name, such legacy or residuary gift shall not fail but my trustees shall pay it to the charitable organisation which they consider most nearly fulfills the objects I intended to benefit."

If a client wants to specify the SPCA in their location, the following alternative is preferred:

"I give [a specified share of the residue/of 'the sum of'/or a specified bequest] to the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Incorporated (RNZSPCA) for its general purposes, for use in the SPCA [insert region] region, and I declare that the receipt of the appointed officer of the Society shall be full and sufficient discharge for the said legacy.

"I further declare that at the date of my death or the date of distribution of my estate, if any charity named in my will does not exist or has amalgamated with another charity or has changed its name, such legacy or residuary gift shall not fail but my trustees shall pay it to the charitable organisation which they consider most nearly fulfills the objects I intended to benefit."

Last updated on the 16th November 2017