St. Francis Legacy Society
Please join the many who have included the Church of the Holy Faith in their Will or other estate planning documents over the years by becoming a member of The Saint Francis Legacy Society.*
Planned Giving is a term which invokes thoughts of estate planning and gifts to charitable organizations. The term refers to various techniques for making gifts so as to take full advantage of current tax laws. It is something which has application for all of us. A planned gift is a way to support charitable organizations, including the Church of the Holy Faith, either during your lifetime when you can observe the results from such a gift, or following your death. You may wish to make a gift to the Church in appreciation for the spiritual rewards and support it has given you and your family. Of course, you should always consider making provision for your family and loved ones, first.
There are many ways of making planned gifts. Each type of gift has its own special benefits; additional information may be obtained from the Church office, Cathy Gronquist of the The Saint Francis Legacy Society Committee, the Treasurer or your personal tax advisor.
Each type of gift has a unique character of its own and the following may be helpful in assisting your thinking about what type of gift you may wish to make and how to make it.
Perhaps the easiest way of making a gift is through a bequest of a certain sum of money or property (either a percentage or a dollar amount) in your Will or Revocable Trust Agreement. A bequest may also be expressed in terms of a certain percentage of a net estate.
Gift of Real Property with Retained Life Estate
You may want to leave a gift of real property to the Church but only after you have had the use of it for your lifetime. With this type of gift, you are entitled to a charitable deduction of the appraised value of the real estate at the time of the gift, reduced by an amount based on your life expectancy. During your lifetime, you will retain exclusive use of the property, but you continue to be responsible for the ongoing payment of real estate taxes, homeowners insurance, and maintenance costs.
Transfer of Life Insurance
Whole life and other paid-up policies often have significant cash value and the face amount of the policy is included in ones’ taxable estate for estate tax purposes. A lifetime gift of an insurance policy to the Church is an excellent way to reduce taxable income and reduce the value of an estate. The value of the gift is based upon the cash value of the policy at the time of transfer. The necessary ownership forms may be obtained from your insurance agent or directly from the issuing company.
Naming the Church as the beneficiary of an IRA or other retirement plan can eliminate substantial income and estate taxes on these assets following your death. This is a tax efficient way of making a charitable gift. The necessary beneficiary designation form may be obtained from the Retirement Plan Administrator.
Gifts of In-Kind Property
A gift of stock or real estate which has grown in value over the years and has significant unrecognized capital gains is another way to make a gift to the Church. Because of the tax-exempt status of the Church, gifts of this type should be made in kind so that the capital gains tax is not incurred by the person making the gift, allowing a full deduction to the donor for the fair market value of the stock or real estate as of the date of the gift. Marketable securities are valued at current market value on the date of the gift. A gift of real estate, closely held stocks and most other assets require a recent appraisal by a certified appraiser. This type of donation is really a “win-win” since you do not pay the capital gains tax on the gift and you are also entitled to take a charitable deduction on your own income tax return, based on the value of the gift.
Trusts provide a very flexible estate planning tool which may benefit you or your heirs during your/their lifetime(s), and following your/their death(s), the remaining assets pass to the Church or other qualified Charitable Organization. The advantages are that the trust may provide a regular income for you or your beneficiaries and provide you with an income tax deduction for the portion of the assets distributed to the charity. There are several varieties of these trusts; some pay a fixed amount each year to the beneficiaries; some pay a percentage of the trust’s value; and others pay the net income earned by the trust. The best type for you will depend upon the amount involved and the desired tax benefits. While an asset is given irrevocably, the donor may be able to make a larger contribution than would be possible with an outright gift; i.e., in the case of a Charitable Remainder Trust, he/she retains an income stream generated by the assets given.
Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT)
Owners of highly appreciated stock and real estate may find the CRT particularly attractive as a giving vehicle. The assets are given to an irrevocable trust, an annual income is paid out to the donor and the remainder passes to the Church or other Qualified Charitable Organization upon the donor’s death. There are minimum income distributions required by the IRS and, among other things, life expectancy is taken into consideration in calculating the amount which may be paid to the donor. The appreciation in the value of the assets after they have been transferred to the trust is removed from your estate. As a general rule, the minimum size for such a trust is $100,000.
Charitable Lead Trust (CLT)
A CLT arrangement results in the income of the Trust being paid to the Church for specified term of years, after which the asset contributed to the Trust, reverts to the beneficiary named by the donor. The benefits of such a Trust are that you can provide the Church with income from the Trust for a specified term of years (or your lifetime), after which the asset contributed to the trust by the donor is distributed to the beneficiary named by the donor. As a general rule, the minimum size for such a trust is $100,000.
*Any donor who signs and returns a Saint Francis Legacy Society Statement of Intent** regarding a provision for the Church of the Holy Faith in his or her Will, or other estate planning documents, will be recognized as a Member of the Saint Francis Legacy Society. Bequests made through the St. Francis Legacy Society will be added to the Endowment Fund of the Church of the Holy Faith to benefit future generations.
Statement of Intent Forms should be returned to the Church office and marked for the attention of the Treasurer. If you have any questions, contact a member of the Committee: Fr. Robin, Sandra Brinck, Cathy Gronquist or the Treasurer, Bob Buddendorf.