--How can I leave a gift?
It is easy. You can arrange a gift in several ways. The most common being a charitable gift through a bequest in a will. Some people set aside a certain dollar amount; others leave a percentage of their estate or any assets left over after their family has been provided for. Some people donate something they own; like a car or their home. Others leave a paid up life insurance policy, securities retirement account or other financial investments.
4--Must I have an estate in order to leave a gift?
Everyone can leave a gift. “Estate” is simply a word used to describe everything you own at the time of your death. Most people leave an estate when they die, even though they may not have a great deal of wealth. A professional advisor can make sure you are getting the maximum tax benefit and legal advantage allowed for your gift. If you do not have an advisor and need assistance, you can usually find a professional to help you through your bank or credit union.
5--Do I tell the parish that I have left a gift?
This is up to you. The parish would prefer to know in advance so they can recognize your generosity, they may also include your planned gift in their long term plans. They can also tell you about opportunities for giving for specific purposes.
6--Do I have to include my wish to leave a gift to the parish in my will?
We strongly encourage everyone to make a will. Without a will, you lose control of your property after death. Your property and finances are settled according to provincial laws, which may not coincide with your wishes and your family’s wishes. A charitable bequest will not take effect unless you state your intention in your will. However, there are other ways of leaving gifts that do not require a will. These are discussed under “Planned Giving.”
7--How do I leave a gift in memory of someone?
A gift is a wonderful way to recognize someone who has made a difference in your life. Whether as a bequest or in any form, you just need to make it clear that the gift is given in memory of a particular person. In most cases, the opportunity to do this is provided as part of funeral arrangements.
8--Who can help me arrange for a gift?
The Parish or Diocesan Office is a good source of information. Or, if you have a professional advisor like a financial planner, lawyer, accountant, or insurance agent, please talk to them about leaving a gift.