Governance

Policies and procedures

Policy No.
UP12/28
Function
Strategic Management
Authoring Organisational Unit
pre-renewal - Development and Alumni Relations (full function)
Date Approved
25/06/2012
Next Review Date
01/06/2022
Approving Body
Senate

The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: UWA Bequests

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

This policy sets out the minimum standards and best practice for the University's bequest program.

The policy provides standards for University staff to ensure the protection of:

(a) persons who are intending to make a bequest;

(b) persons who have confirmed a bequest;

(c) close family members of persons referred to in (a) and (b) above; and

(d) the University and its staff.

Definitions:

In this policy and any associated procedures or documents

the University means The University of Western Australia

bequest donor means an individual who has already included the University in their will

bequest prospect is an individual who is considering or is intending to make a bequest to the University, or an individual who the University considers may be open to a bequest.

Policy statement:

1 General Principles

1.1 The University raises funds to assist in achieving its mission of advancing, transmitting and sustaining knowledge and understanding through the conduct of teaching, research and scholarship at the highest international standards, for the benefit of the Western Australian, Australian and international communities.

1.2 Fundraising may be used by the University to provide:

(a) appropriate buildings and facilities;

(b) a campus and an environment conducive to learning,

(c) scholarships and prizes for students;

(d) a creative resource for the community.

(e) academic positions

(f) to assist and advance the University's core function

1.3 Staff involved in fundraising on behalf of the University's bequests program must, at all times, act in a highly ethical manner in order to maintain and enhance the reputation of the University.

1.4 Staff must not act in a way that places the University in a situation where there is or could be a conflict of interest, or where there could be a perceived conflict of interest.

1.5 Good record keeping is essential to demonstrating that the University has acted with propriety at all times when dealing with donors or potential donors.

1.6 Staff involved in fundraising are bound by the University's Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct. http://www.hr.uwa.edu.au/publications/code_of_ethics

2 Wills and Estates

2.1 The University, its employees and officeholders must not hold a Power of Attorney, an Enduring Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Guardianship for a bequest donor or bequest prospect, unless they have family/social/personal connections with the individual which are separate to their position at the University.

2.2 The University, its employees and officeholders must not accept an appointment as an executor of a bequest donor's will, unless they have family/social/personal connections with the individual which are separate to their position at the University and does not involve a conflict of interest.

2.3 University employees must not write a will for a bequest donor or bequest prospect unless they have family/social/personal connections with the individual which are separate to their position at the University and does not involve a conflict of interest.

2.4 University employees must not act as a witness for a will of a bequest donor or bequest prospect unless they have family/social/personal connections with the individual which are separate to their position at the University and does not involve a conflict of interest.

2.5 University employees must advise bequest prospects, who are intending to include the University in their will, to seek independent legal advice regarding their estate planning and will writing.

2.6 University employees must not recommend any one estate planner and/or solicitors to any bequest donor or bequest prospect. They may provide a list to the individual of independent estate planners and/or solicitors, and/or may refer them to the Law Society of Western Australia or the Public Trust for their estate planning. Any list must not give rise to a conflict of interest or a perception of a conflict of interest, or suggest that the University is recommending any particular estate planners and/or solicitors.

2.7 When appropriate, individuals who are intending to bequeath to the University, should be encouraged to discuss their intentions with close family member and make provision for them in their estate planning.

2.8 The University, its employees and officeholders must not act as trustees of a bequest donor's estate, unless they have family/social/personal connections with the individual which are separate to their position at the University,

2.9 The University must not pay for a bequest donor or bequest prospect's will to be written, unless there are extenuating circumstances and the Director of Legal Services or the Vice Chancellor has approved the payment for the will.

2.10 A University employee must not derive any personal benefit offered by a bequest donor or bequest prospect.

3 Relationship with donors and prospective donors

3.1 University staff must act in a respectful and empathic manner with bequest donors and bequest prospects.

3.2 University staff must not subject a bequest donor or bequest prospect to undue influence or coercion in relation to granting a bequest.

4 Fundraising Activities

4.1 The University may organise activities with the purpose of cultivating and stewarding donors and encouraging and inspiring bequest prospects to consider including the University as a beneficiary in their wills provided that the University informs bequest prospects that they:

(a) have no obligation to make a bequest to the organisation hosting the activity;

(b) should obtain independent legal advice; and

(c) have no obligation to commit to bequeathing to UWA or finalise their will at the activity.

4.2 Fundraising activities may incur a cost to the University.

5 Specific Requests

5.1 Where possible, bequests should allow flexibility, whilst taking into account the wishes of the donor.

5.2 To ensure the University is able to utilise a specific bequest the Development and Alumni Relations office is responsible for working with a bequest donor to ensure that bequests are practical, feasible and relevant at the time and into the future . The Development and Alumni Relations office may need to negotiate with relevant faculties, areas or bodies.

5.3 Where specific bequests are not practical, feasible and relevant at the time and into the future, the University will follow the legal process to ensure the bequest is changed and allocated to the area which best approximates the bequest donor's wishes.

5.4 All specific bequests should be limited in time or provide the University with discretion to direct the funds to another project, prize or scholarship should the original intention of the bequest become obsolete or not feasible.

6 Financial matters

6.1 All donations to the University must be received in accordance with Australian Taxation Office rules on gifts and on receipt such donations must be invested in accordance with State and Federal rules on authorised trustee investments.

6.2 The University must not accept a gift that is tied or encumbered or must not expend funds to realise a gift, except in exceptional circumstances and subject to clause 6.3. For example, the University will not:

(a) pay off a mortgage to use a gifted house;

(b) pay a call on shares; or

(c) pay a debt to release a car.

6.3 The Vice Chancellor may approve the accepting of a gift that is tied or encumbered, or the expenditure of funds to realise a gift, in exceptional circumstances (and where the gift is significantly greater than the funds to be expended and there are no risks to the University).

7 Confidentiality and Accountability

7.1 Details about a bequest donor's will and estate must remain confidential during the individual's lifetime, with the information being restricted to those employees who have need to access the information, unless otherwise agreed upon by the individual.

7.2 The Development and Alumni Relations office must ensure all records relating to bequest donors, bequest prospects, wills, estates and bequests are lodged with the University' Archives and Records Management Services in order to ensure confidentiality is maintained.

7.3 Any contact between the Development and Alumni Relations office and any individual bequest donor or bequest prospect must be recorded.

7.4 The Development and Alumni Relations office will ensure all executors and trustees receive confirmation of receipt of bequests and appropriate acknowledgement and recognition, being mindful of the bequest donor's intention.

7.5 The University will ensure that all bequests are treated in accordance with the bequest donor's wishes, to the extent consistent with the letter and spirit of the law.

8 Outsourcing of fundraising

8.1 External fundraisers acting on behalf of the University must comply with this policy or a document containing standards for external fundraisers approved by the Director of the Development and Alumni Relations or the Director of Legal Services or Vice Chancellor.

Related forms: (Link)

Policy No:

UP 12/28

Approving body or position: Senate

Date original policy approved: as per file

Date this version of policy approved: 25 June 2012

Date policy to be reviewed: 2022

Date this version of procedures approved: 25 June 2012

TRIM File No: F45873

Contact position: Anne Liddle, Manager Planned Giving

Related Policies or legislation: