The Stewardship Group is in the process of updating VAPC's planned giving policy. As part of our education process around Planned Giving, we will be re-running a series of articles that were posted in 'Update' last year and early this year. We hope you find these useful if you are considering making a lasting gift of this nature.
We are called to live a generous life and to be faithful stewards of the gifts that God has given to us. Over time, generosity becomes a habit—and then a lifestyle.
Planned gifts are one way you can help to ensure the long-term viability of the church and its ministry.
- Are a statement about your faith and life values
- Usually fund long-term mission and ministry
- Often have tax benefits
- Are usually given from accumulated assets rather than current income
- Tend to be larger than gifts given regularly from current income
This article looks specifically at the most common planned gift - the bequest.
The most familiar way that people leave a gift or legacy is making a bequest. VAPC has received a number of bequests over the years from very small to quite large amounts. In the recent SHINE campaign, VAPC matched up to $50,000 against the congregation’s giving toward debt reduction. The matching funds were provided by four bequests of varying amounts.
A bequest is a direction in your will that leaves one or more of the assets in your estate to a charity. You can fund the gift with cash, appreciated stocks and bonds, and/or tangible personal property. As well, you can designate the gift to be:
- a specific amount,
- a percentage of your estate, or
- the residue remaining in your estate after you have provided for all other beneficiaries and paid all debts and administrative fees.
So, for example, you may decide to provide for your church out of your assets – a gift of a specified amount. Over time, you may decide that you need to ensure the financial security of, say, your children and change your will so the gift becomes a percentage of your estate.
You can change your will at any time according to suit your needs. A change can be accomplished through a simple amendment (codicil) added to your will.
Your death can trigger the sale of many assets – appreciated securities, vacation properties, RRSPs, businesses – resulting in a final net income and subsequent estate taxes that are significant. A bequest in your will can be a highly effective way to reduce estate taxes, while supporting something important to you. VAPC will issue a charitable tax receipt for the full value of your bequest. This receipt will be used to reduce the tax payable on your final tax return.
The next article in this series will address gifts of stocks and bonds (publicly listed securities) and gifts of life insurance.
If you wish to learn more about planned giving, you can contact Len Gale (Stewardship); consult with the Planned Giving brochures from the Presbyterian Church of Canada (PCC) available at VAPC; and/or, visit the Planned Giving resources on the PCC website at Presbyterian.ca.