Leaving a Bequest to the Church

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Will Power

When you write a will and include the Church, your “present” will be a gift that endures far into the future.

Will Power—what you have if you write a will! Power to use the accumulated fruits of your lifetime to provide for your loved ones as you see fit, rather than as the government determines. Power to ease the transition of your passing for those who survive you. Moreover, a will is fully revocable while you live—you retain control and can easily make revisions should your circumstances change.

When you include the Diocese of Edmonton (or your parish or other Anglican–related ministries) in your will, you are using your will power to help support on–going and future essential ministry and programming. Bequests enable the Church to build a solid funding base, which will support its work far into the future.

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

If you presently have a will, you can easily add a codicil providing for a bequest to the Diocese of Edmonton, your parish or other ministry. If you do not have a will, this is the time to prepare one. You will find that it is neither difficult nor expensive to do so.

A bequest to the Church brings a tax benefit too. Upon your death, your estate is entitled to a donation receipt for the full value of your bequest, providing a significant tax credit on your final tax return. For example, Margaret, a widow, leaves $100,000 to the Diocese of Edmonton and the remainder of her estate to her two children. As a 50 percent tax credit applies to the entire amount, her bequest results in a tax saving of $50,000 on her final return.

It is likely that the entire bequest will be income tax creditable because the donation limit is 100% of income in the year of death, and any unused tax credit may be carried back to the year immediately preceding death.

Making it Fit Your Needs and Goals

Your bequest may take any of several forms. Here are some examples, with appropriate wording:

A general bequest is for a certain dollar amount of property, usually cash: “I give to the Diocese of Edmonton the sum of $100,000 to be used for the general purposes of the Diocese at the discretion of the Officers of the Diocese.”

A specific bequest directs that the Church is to receive a specific piece of property: “I give…500 shares of XYZ stock.…”

A residual bequest designates all or a portion of whatever remains after all debts, taxes, expenses and other bequests have been paid: “I give … fifty percent (50%) of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate…”

A contingent bequest takes effect only under certain conditions: “In the event that my wife does not survive me, I give to the parish of St. Smitthins or other ministry, the sum of…”

In addition to the choice of form, you also have options as to the purpose for which your bequest will be used. You may make a bequest to the Church for its general purposes (as in the first example above) or you may make a restricted bequest to be used for a particular program, ministry or project of the Church. You may specify that the principal of your bequest is to be held as endowment from which only the income is expended, or be used to establish a named fund in your name or as a memorial to a family member, friend or colleague. For any of these purposes, it is important to confer in advance with the Diocesan Planned Giving Officer to ensure that your wishes can be met and that your bequest provision is properly worded.

Let Us Help You—and Thank You

Whichever form and purpose you choose for your bequest, the diocesan Planned Giving Officer is available to assist you. We can provide a helpful booklet on how to make a will and sample bequest language appropriate to the forms and purposes described above. At your request, the Planned Giving Officer will be happy to meet with you and, if you wish, with your legal and financial advisors, to discuss your goals and refine the wording of your bequest.

When you have completed your will, or added a provision for the Church to your present will, we hope you will let us know so we can express our appreciation. With your permission, we will add your name to the growing number of those who have provided for future gifts to the Diocese of Edmonton, parishes, and other Anglican ministry, where it will encourage still others to take that important step.

If you would like more information, in confidence and without obligation, please complete and return the Request for Planned Giving Information form.

The information on this webpage does not constitute legal or financial advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional advice. The Planned Giving Office encourages you to seek professional legal, estate planning and financial advice before deciding on a course of action. The examples given above reflect rates at the time of writing and are subject to change.