“For we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it;” (1 Timothy 6:7)
Planned giving is a way you can provide for continued support of your church even after your death. It is an opportunity for you to plan for and to direct the distribution of the tangible gifts and blessings God has bestowed on you toward the continued support of your parish home and to promote what you believe is important in serving him. Incorporating planned giving into your estate planning will benefit you, your heirs and your church, all at the same time.
Unlike pledging, giving to a capital campaign or weekly giving, planned giving does not benefit your church’s current operation budget. Rather, planned giving helps build a legacy for the future. The beautiful church you enjoy and in which you worship today is here because of the generosity and planning of those who have gone before. Through planned giving, you too can leave a legacy for future generations.
Funds given through planned giving can be contributed to the general church endowment fund, which provides resources where and when they are most urgently needed. Or planned giving funds can be directed to support specific purposes, such as community outreach, music at Saint Andrew’s, Christian education, etc. Endowments are carefully managed by the church investment committee to ensure safe and bountiful yields.
Donors can incorporate planned giving into their estate planning through bequests, gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts or life insurance. In addition to serving as a significant benefit to the parish, planned giving can provide immediate tax benefits in terms of deductions from income, inheritance and estate taxes. Because Saint Andrew’s cannot render legal, tax or estate planning services, donor are urged to consult with a tax adviser and/or an estate planning attorney. Father Wall can suggest specific ways in which planned giving can benefit Saint Andrew’s.
As with any estate planning, work with a trusted tax or investment professional to ensure that your gift will be transferred according to your wishes.
A bequest is simply a gift that is made upon your death. This is the simplest type of planned giving and it is the easiest to implement. As part of your will, you can designate that a specific amount of money, a specific percentage of the value of your estate or a specific asset, such as shares of stock or property, be donated directly to the church. This donation would serve as a direct deduction from your estate taxes. Because the donation is made after your death, you have full access to and benefit from the asset during your lifetime.
A gift annuity is an agreement between you and the church whereby you make a gift of cash or property to the church and the church agrees to make fixed payments to you for the remainder of your life and that of one additional beneficiary if so named — your spouse, for example. With a gift annuity, you would immediately benefit from an income tax deduction for the present value of the donation. In addition, you would not have any tax liability for capital gains, and a portion of the church’s payment to you would be tax free.
Charitable Remainder Trust
A charitable remainder trust is a way you can donate property or money to Saint Andrew’s and reduce your taxable income while continuing to use it and/or receive income from it while you are living. The trust is established when you transfer assets to St. Andrew’s as trustee. Saint Andrew’s would invest the assets for some agreed upon time period, which can be your lifetime and that of your beneficiaries. During the term of the trust, you or your beneficiaries would receive income from the trust. When the trust ends, any remaining assets would go to Saint Andrew’s. The assets placed into the trust are removed from your estate, hence lowering the tax burden on your estate. In addition, no capital gains taxes are due for assets that increase in value during the term of the trust. The charitable remainder trust is a way you can supplement your retirement income while reducing your overall tax burden.
Naming Saint Andrew’s as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy is a way to make a substantial gift to the church while paying monthly premiums. Because the death benefit may well be considerably more than you or your estate could contribute as a lump sum, life insurance is an effective and affordable way to make a very generous contribution to the church. Death benefits paid to charities are not subject to any taxes, so all of the proceeds of your life insurance policy would be paid to Saint Andrew’s. An additional incentive for this type of gift is that the premium payments on your life insurance policy may qualify as itemized deductions.