We are stewards of God’s bounty. Caretakers. For a period, we are given time, energy and resources. What we do with these gifts ultimately defines the character of our life and the depth of our spiritual understanding.
Planned giving is one expression of the wise use of the personal resources God has entrusted to us. Planned giving to Trinity should be considered by everyone, regardless of wealth, because all of us are stewards of God’s bounty. Even what may be considered small gifts can be most beneficial.
For more than 160 years, Trinity Episcopal Church has nurtured its communicants and its community, serving God in the lives of its congregation and in the broader world. This vibrant, beautiful church has been built upon the generous stewardship, gifts, and bequests of many generations. Your planned gift will continue this sacred tradition and help assure Trinity’s future.
Your Vestry has established the Trinity Episcopal Church Legacy Fund as a perpetual endowment that receives gifts and accumulates financial assets, the income from which may be used for needs that fall outside the church’s annual operating budget, including, for example, capital improvements, building programs and special projects decided upon by the Vestry. Except in rare and catastrophic instances, the principal will be preserved. An endowment committee appointed by the Vestry establishes investment policies, and professional investment counsel manages the funds.
Planned giving may be accomplished in a variety of ways. It usually involves some financial or estate planning; however, it is not reserved for the wealthy. Planned giving is a means by which anyone concerned with the wise use of her or his personal resources makes a considered choice about their ultimate disposition.
A Bequest in a Will
Perhaps the easiest and most common way of making a planned gift is through your will. Yet more than 50 percent of Americans do not have a will.
If you die without a will, state law provides your assets will be divided among your spouse and children (regardless of age). Guardians and administrators – who may or may not have been your choice – will be appointed. The state makes no charitable contributions, and this will ensure that your estate pays as much tax and fees as possible. All of this process is public and therefore available for anyone to review.
By making a will, you appoint your own administrator, you name the guardian of your dependents, you control applicable taxes, you can create a family or charitable trust, and you can share your resources with your family, Trinity, or other institutions as you choose.
A bequest in a will can take the form of
a set amount of money, a percentage of an estate, a specific asset,
or a trust.
Life Income Gifts
Life income gifts provide you or your designated beneficiary income for life in exchange for your gift.
The three most common types of life income gifts are a pooled income fund, charitable gift annuity, and charitable remainder trust.
In the Pooled Income Fund, gifts ($2,500 gift minimum) are “pooled” with other gifts and invested in a professionally managed investment portfolio. The donor receives the following benefits:
The benefits of establishing a Charitable Gift Annuity are similar to those of the pooled income fund with the following differences:
A Charitable Remainder Trust is available to donors using assets of $100,000 or more. This trust can be funded with various types of assets, including real estate. Like the pooled income fund and the charitable gift annuity, the charitable remainder trust provides income for life, an income tax deduction, relief from capital gains taxes (if funded through appreciated property), and a possible reduction in estate taxes. Income fluctuates based on the performance of the portfolio. If you are seeking fixed income annually, a charitable remainder annuity trust is an option to consider.
The Charitable Lead Trust, another estate planning tool, enables you to transfer assets to a trust that pays its income to the church for a set period of time. At the end of the term, the principal and all capital appreciation returns to you or others that you name.
Gifts of Life Insurance and Retirement Accounts
Life insurance is another way to make a meaningful gift to Trinity. For example, you may purchase a new policy and make Trinity the owner and beneficiary of the policy. This enables you to “leverage” your gift, ultimately making a much larger gift than otherwise possible. Contributions to Trinity to pay the ongoing premiums become tax deductible.
You also can make Trinity the owner and beneficiary of an existing policy. The current value of the policy is tax deductible, as are future premium payments. You can make Trinity a contingent beneficiary of an existing policy or name Trinity to receive the proceeds of the policy if the designated beneficiaries predecease the insured.
Also, the remainder value of many retirement accounts, such as IRA’s, can be heavily taxed when left to family and friends but would pass tax-free to Trinity upon your death. Review this with your attorney or financial advisor to learn if this is an appropriate gift for you.
Gifts of Real Estate, Appreciated Property, and Tangible Personal Property
Real estate or securities can be the source of your gift to Trinity, as well. Using a Charitable Life Estate Contract, for example, you can deed your home, vacation home, farm, ranch, or condominium to Trinity and retain the right to live on the property and/or receive income from the property for as long as you live. You receive an income tax deduction when the property is deeded to Trinity and normally avoid any capital gains taxes when making the transfer. Your inheritance and estate taxes may be reduced at the time of your death.
Gifts of tangible personal property, such as jewelry, coins, works of art, or automobiles, also maybe given to Trinity. You would be responsible for setting an appraised value on the gift. Any gift or more than $5,000 must be independently appraised.
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The Reverend Dr. Scott White and members of Trinity Episcopal Church’s Planned Giving Committee look forward to discussing these giving
and legacy opportunities. All gifts to the Trinity Episcopal Church Legacy Fund are subject to acceptance of the Gift Review Committee, which consists of the Rector, the Wardens, and the Chairs of the Planned Giving Committee and Investments Committee.
This page is intended to be only an introduction to planned giving. It is important to consult your financial advisor, accountant or attorney before making any decisions about your planned giving to Trinity Episcopal Church, as tax laws frequently change and tax results vary depending on individual circumstances.
The Episcopal Church Foundation web site also has a comprehensive range of information about planned giving and is able to provide individualized assistance with some forms of giving, such as annuities.