Bequests provide an ideal opportunity to make a statement of faith and to give resources that will support the mission of St. Ann for years to come. A bequest is a specific provision in your will that leaves money or other assets to a person or institution. Such a gift allows the donor to make a significant contribution that may not have been possible during their lifetime. A bequest is generally a revocable gift; that just means it can be changed or modified at any time. And, with a bequest, you can choose to designate that it be used for a general or specific purpose. That can give you peace of mind, knowing that your gift will be used as intended; it provides an opportunity to create an endowment for religious education, for pastoral care, for the upkeep or development of facilities, or for specific ministries, such as church music or pastoral outreach.
One significant benefit of making a gift by bequest is that it allows you to continue to use the property and have access to the funds that will eventually be left to St. Ann. Bequests are exempt from federal estate taxes. If you have a taxable estate, the estate tax charitable deduction may offset or eliminate estate taxes, resulting in a larger inheritance for your heirs. Another benefit is that you are able to leave a lasting legacy. Wills and other forms of legacy giving are essential components of estate planning – the process of managing your accumulated assets and determining what legacy you will leave through them, including your legacy of faith.
Many families want to document and celebrate their family’s history with the church. The opportunity to create an endowment is a timeless way for members to demonstrate their lifetime commitment and devotion to their faith community. Many long-time members have experienced a deep engagement in various aspects of the life of the parish. A legacy gift will help to ensure that those ministries will continue to thrive.
Bequests are not just for the ultra-rich; they can be provided by anyone in any state of life. You can leave a bequest of a specific sum of money, a percentage of your estate, or the residual value of your estate, after all other disbursements or assignments have been made. It can be a sum of cash, or property, a vehicle, or anything else in your estate.
In order to make a bequest, you should speak with your attorney. Your attorney can help you include a bequest to St. Ann parish in your estate plan. If your will is already written, your advisor can add a simple amendment or codicil to provide a charitable bequest to the parish.