A legacy gift is a gift deferred – a way of expressing wishes now about how resources should be used later. A legacy gift is a commitment made to protect those we love, and an opportunity to benefit the Church for generations to come.
Legacy is an important part of Christian stewardship. It offers ways – over and above our regular support to the Church’s ongoing work – to share God’s gifts with others and to grow spiritually as we live out our vocations and ministries within the mission of the Church.
Ways to give
There are many types of legacy gifts. A gift plan that works for one individual or family may not work for another, because the make-up of estates or accumulated assets is as different as the households themselves. The good news is that federal law provides the means for donors to direct the taxable portion of their estates to benefit the community and the Church. Some gift planning vehicles will benefit the Church now, giving an immediate tax credit. Others will benefit the Church later, with a tax credit accruing to the donor’s estate.
Bequest in a will
A gift made in a will – the most common form of deferred gift – provides tax relief to an estate while making sure a commitment to the life of the Church lasts beyond the giver’s lifetime. Care should be taken to make sure the form and purpose of a gift is clear. The diocesan Stewardship Development department can advise individuals on the appropriate wording of a bequest. A lawyer’s services are recommended for the making of a will.
Life insurance often allows givers to make a larger gift than they might otherwise be able to make. They can assign a paid-up policy for which they have no further need, or obtain a new policy that names the Church as beneficiary. By assigning ownership to the Church, the individual receives a tax credit for the cash surrender value and all future premiums. Naming the Church as the beneficiary will give tax benefits to the estate.
Gift and “Gift Plus” Annuities are available through General Synod. They provide guaranteed income during the giver’s lifetime and a gift of money to the Church at time of their death. In the case of “Gift Plus” Annuities, this gift is immediate. A portion of the annual income will be tax-free, depending on the giver’s situation at the time of their gift.
Trusts & gifts of residual interest
Individuals with substantial assets may wish to donate a portion of them to the Church, while retaining use during their lifetimes. Besides cash and investment holdings, these assets may include property such as real estate or art.
Gifts of marketable securities (stocks)
People who have made significant capital gains from investments are often faced with large tax burdens when they sell them. By donating securities to the Church, their charitable objectives can be addressed and their tax burden reduced. Recent changes in tax law have made this type of gift very attractive to donors.
Ask your members to prayerfully consider opportunities to strengthen the Anglican community. The Stewardship Development department can provide more information. Feel free to contact us with any questions.
Planned giving resources
Director of Stewardship Development