Rhonda Brink writes this month's education article from the Covenant Presbyterian Foundation. Rhonda makes suggestions on how to make sure your faith commitment is included and remembered in your estate plans.
Part of an estate planner’s job is to get you a bit worried about the status of your will. After you read this, I hope you will have no cause to worry – that your will and all the gifts you want to make are perfectly stated and up to date. But the truth is that many of us either have no will or have one that is 10 to 20 years old. Whether your plan is up to date or needs to be re-tooled, there are gracious ways to remember the church in your plans. By doing so, you can let your “inheritors” know of your faith commitment to the church.
Have you ever considered that your prayerful annual pledge to Covenant might be thwarted by an early or untimely death? After a loved one’s death, the survivors or the executor often ask about payment of an outstanding pledge to the church. Simple language in your will authorizing the payment of your outstanding written pledge can avoid any issues about it being honored and paid.
Have you ever considered that your prayerful continuous support of the church might be thwarted by lack of planning? Most Covenant members do not hesitate to pledge and to fulfill their stewardship promises to the church each year. Such annual giving plays a vital role in the church’s mission. Yet that vital support can end with your death. A simple update to your will can ensure the continued support.
Gifts to churches and charitable organizations are often referred to as “planned giving,” yet one of the simplest and most beneficial gifts to the church does not involve much planning at all. Rather, a simple codicil (amendment) to your last will can easily make an outright, specific bequest of a sum of money or an investment asset to the church. More complex gifts through tax-planned trusts and transfers are possible, but the simple act of making a bequest is encouraged. What if your annual support continued for 20 years after your death? If your annual gift is $1,000, a simple bequest of $20,000 is all that is needed to continue your stewardship.
Another way to support the church is to recognize the passing of a member, to honor a loved one or simply to give praise for the blessings in your life with a financial gift to Covenant. This is a thoughtful and enduring way to acknowledge a loss or blessing in your life.
You may have considered a permanent gift to the church and wondered if you want to keep it anonymous or have it acknowledged in an appropriate way. While the Lord taught us not to sound the trumpet, members – when learning of planned giving – may be encouraged to consider gifts to the church. These might range from small gifts to remember, honor or praise a person or event to supporting the church and its mission through planned gifts in your will and estate plan. The church’s public expression of appreciation for your generosity is not a trumpet; it is a thank you!
Your thoughtful gift or bequest can be made directly to the Church or through the Covenant Presbyterian Church Foundation – the tax-exempt fund entity created to support the church. For information about the Foundation or if you would like to see the type of language that might be used to make a gift under your will to the church or to the foundation, please call the church office or any of the foundation trustees. Your gift or inquiry will be kept in confidence, as you may wish.
For more information, please visit http://covenant.org/donate/foundation/ or contact Duane Dube or any Trustee; Elizabeth Christian, Everard Davenport, Dianne Erlewine, Larry Faulkner, JoAnne McIntosh, Megan Poore, and Tana Taylor
Covenant Presbyterian Foundation supports Covenant Presbyterian Church by assisting donors to be Faithful To Generations, during and beyond their own lives, by receiving and growing their gifts, and using them to help fulfill the donors’ glorification of God.
One generation will commend your works to another… Psalm 145:4