Leaving a Legacy…
How can each of us make something enduring and that can last 175 years? By leaving a Will that includes bequests for religious and charitable purposes.
The loving act of making a Will along with many other pledges of time, talent and money have provided the St. Johns parish with a community of faith and worship for a very long time. Every individual should take steps to make a Will to provide for their families and loved ones. You can tailor your Will to meet many goals such as satisfying final debts and providing for support and education of young family members.
A Will can also make a statement about your life and your values. A gift to the church via Will is a lasting and powerful way to assist your community of faith.
Preparing to Make a Will
Before seeing a legal advisor, save time and expense by taking time to prepare the following:
• Make a list of everyone for whom you are responsible.
• List everyone you would like to remember in your Will including charities or causes that have been meaningful to you.
• List all of your material assets. This list may be more extensive than you think. (A Checklist is provided)
After Assessing your Assets & Debts
• Match the names with the assets or consider giving a portion of total assets to each individual. Take care of your family first. This is also the time to consider special friends and your church.
• Consider establishing a trust if your estate is large enough by consulting with a financial planner, the trust department of a bank, or a representative of the Church.
If your total assets are substantial, you may be subject to federal estate taxes. For those who are legal residents of the State of Maine even modest asset levels may give rise to State estate taxes. In some cases, forming a family and/or charitable trust may reduce both estate and inheritance taxes.
• Ask your chosen Personal Representative and/or Trustee if he or she is willing to serve.
• Consult with the people you select as guardians of your children (where minor children are involved) to be sure they are willing to serve.
• Talk with your priest to explore the ministries of the church that could best be funded by a gift from your Will.
Bequests to St. Johns Can Take Several Forms…
• An outright monetary bequest
• A percentage of an estate
• A specific asset, such as personal or real property
• A trust created in a will
• A contingent beneficiary, i.e., the church receives the assets if there are no surviving beneficiaries
“I give, devise, and bequeath (____________) to (St. John’s Episcopal Church, Bangor, Maine) to be used (___describe use______) or as the church’s governing board or vestry deems appropriate.”
After you make your Will, review your will from time to time with your legal advisor. Laws, assets, family, and personal interests often change over time. You probably have not written your last Will, only your latest Will.”