A Guide for Establishing Your Personal Legacy of Faith
Central to any well-organized estate plan is your will which determines how you wish to distribute your estate and provide for your loved ones. By writing and updating your will, you can ensure the security of family members and other loved ones, assure the distribution of your property according to your wishes, name a trusted executor and create a document which defines your personal legacy. A will can also proclaim your Christian faith and demonstrate your response as a faithful steward to future generations of the Church. This document is designed to help you in two important ways: with the peace of mind that a proper plan can provide as well as the comfort of knowing that you have helped define your own personal legacy of faith.
HOW TO BEGIN
Pray about your commitment.
Contact your attorney for guidance and assistance.
Contact the Office of All Villages Presbyterian Church for information.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO NEXT
Assets – List everything you own, less your debts – money, property, life insurance, pension, investments – and how they are owned, either individually or jointly.
Beneficiaries – Identify the people, organizations and causes which you support. Reflect on the blessings of your life and consider your responsibilities as a steward.
Designations – You can divide your estate on a percentage basis, bequeath specific assets, designate certain dollar amounts or use a combination of these. You may also bequeath the balance of your estate after all other bequests are completed.
Executor – Once you have determined your assets and listed your beneficiaries it is important to name a person(s) who will see that your wishes are carried out. Your executor may be a friend, relative or representative from a bank or trust company. PLAN YOUR
The following considerations are important in planning your charitable bequest to achieve your goals:
– Will your gift be restricted in use?
– What is the amount of your gift?
– How will your gift be distributed?
– Updating your plan
Restricted or Unrestricted
With a restricted bequest you name the specific causes you wish to support such as a special program of All Villages Presbyterian Church, i.e. missions; music ministry; facilities. This type of bequest should be made in the broadest terms consistent with your interests to assure that it does not become obsolete. An unrestricted bequest permits the church to use your gift where the need is greatest and allows it to respond to changing mission needs as they arise.
Amount of Your Bequest
Once your estate plan is established you can reasonably determine the amount of your bequest. This may be done by establishing a specific dollar amount or a percentage of your estate such as a tithe of 10 % to charitable causes.
Example: “I bequeath to All Villages Presbyterian Church – Port St Lucie the amount of $10,000”. Or “I bequeath 10% of all remaining assets of my estate to All Villages Presbyterian Church – Port St Lucie”.
You may also make a bequest of the residual of your estate, which is determined after all other bequests have been made to your heirs.
Example: “…the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, I give, devise and bequeath to All Villages Presbyterian Church – Port St Lucie”.
Structure of Your Gift
Consideration should be give about the distribution of your gift. Your bequest can be a direct distribution, it can establish a memorial fund or it may be used to endow the ongoing work of the charitable beneficiaries you selected. In the case of All Villages Presbyterian Church – Port St Lucie, outright gifts are received in the form cash, securities, real estate, insurance and personal property. Other gifts are made through wills, living trusts, deferred income and build-up plans, such as pension funds, IRAs, Keoghs and employee stock option plans. Gifts through insurance plans are options by making AVPC – Port St Lucie either owners or beneficiary of insurance policies or by contribution of paid up policies.
Update Your Plan Periodically
The last major consideration involves updating your plans on a regular basis – annually is recommended. This will assure that whatever life changes occur (marriage, new children, grandchildren, relocation) your wishes are carried on and your legacy is preserved according to your desires.