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A will or living trust is a means of planning for the protection of your family and the distribution of your assets according to your wishes. In addition, through your will you can express the important values of your life by distributing assets in ways that provide ongoing support to those people and ministries most important to you. A gift in your will or living trust is one of the most straightforward ways to benefit Christ Church in your estate plan and is a generous and effective way of helping ensure Christ Church’s future ability to carry out our mission.
By your will or your revocable trust, you can make Christ Church the beneficiary of cash, securities, and/or other property.
There are several accepted ways to make a bequest to Christ Church in your Will or Living Trust: You can name a specific dollar amount, you can designate a specific asset, you can define your bequest as a percentage of your gross estate, or, you can name the Church as the recipient of your residual estate.
If you already have a Will or Living Trust, you can amend them to make a gift without rewriting the entire document. An attorney can prepare a Codicil to your Will that adds a new bequest to the Church while reaffirming the other terms of your Will. Similarly, he or she can prepare an Amendment to your Living Trust to add the Church as a beneficiary.
Because it is a legal document, it is important to use the proper legal name of the entity to which you wish to make a gift. Please contact the business office to ascertain the proper name to use when making your bequest.
When you plan your estate, it may seem natural to designate a family member as your beneficiary, and use other assets to make a charitable gift. But using retirement assets to make your donation to Christ Church and leaving other assets to your heirs often enables your heirs to benefit from a reduced estate tax burden. Since Christ Church is a non-profit organization, it will not pay income tax on the distribution (nor will the gift be subject to estate tax) and therefore the entire amount is distributed to the Church.
To make such a gift, be sure to direct the gift to the Church in your plan’s beneficiary designation form – rather than through your Will. If you fail to do so, the assets will be included in your taxable estate and subject to the tax consequences of a distribution of tax-deferred assets. If you choose, you may also make Christ Church a partial beneficiary of your plan and direct the balance to your heirs.
It is important to use the proper legal name of the entity when designating a beneficiary. Please contact the business office to ascertain the proper name to use on your beneficiary designation form.
A gift of life insurance passes to the Church without delay and without being subject to probate and administrative fees. There are several common ways you can use life insurance to make a gift to Christ Church.
First, policies for which the original purpose is no longer needed can be given to the Church through an irrevocable transfer. By doing so, you receive an immediate tax deduction. Upon your death, the death benefit of the policy will be paid to the Church.
A second option is to change the beneficiary of an existing policy. Simply call your life insurance representative and ask for a change in beneficiary form. You name Christ Church as a primary or contingent beneficiary of the policy. There is no cost to change beneficiaries and the process is simple. Since you retain ownership of your policy, there are no income tax benefits.
The Rev. Toni Brown
Chief Financial Officer