Planned gifts are different from “Living Gifts” because they usually involve stopping to think about one’s own passing and planning for that event. They require some planning ahead and, sometimes, help from a professional advisor. Unlike cash donations, they are typically made from assets in your estate rather than disposable income, and come to fruition upon your passing. A common misconception is that planned giving is only for the "wealthy." The reality is, even people of modest means can make a significant difference through planned giving, if there remain any assets in their estate, such as a home or a life insurance policy, at the time of death.
Ways to Specify a Gift or Bequest
Common gift specifications include a lump sum amount (e.g., $10,000) or a specific percentage (e.g., 5%) of the net estate amount after taxes and expenses. An alternative is a percentage amount of the net estate after distributions of specific amounts to family members or others (recognizing that if the estate is depleted, there may not be any net funds to distribute). Other specifications can include all or a share of a specific asset, such as a house, a retirement account, or an ownership interest in an insurance policy or a business.
A simple way of leaving bequests for several Unitarian-Universalist related entities, including First Church, Camp de Benneville Pines, the UUSC, and so on, is to specify an Umbrella Gift to the UUA. For more on this please visit the UUA Umbrella Giving Program page.
Types of Planned Gifts
Most planned gifts are bequests that are donated to the Church by the executor of an estate (if by a Will) or the Successor Trustee (if from a Living Trust), and these are discussed briefly below. But there are several other common funding mechanisms in use. Other planned gifts include the following:
Bequests from Retirement Accounts or Annuities (see our Retirement Plan Assets page).
Assigning Life Insurance (see our Life Insurance page).
Setting up a Lifetime Charitable Gift Annuity (see our Gift Annuities page).
Setting up a Charitable Trust (see our Charitable Trusts page).
Bequests from a Will or Living (Revocable) Trust
We hope you'll consider including a gift to First Church in your will or living trust. As noted above, your gift can be made as a percentage of your estate, or you can make a specific bequest amount. This type of gift offers several advantages:
- Simplicity. Just a few sentences in your will or trust are all that is needed. To view suggested bequest language for First Church visit our Wills & Trusts page.
- Flexibility. Because you are not actually making a gift until after your lifetime, you can change your mind at any time.
- Versatility. You can structure the bequest to leave a specific item or amount of money, make the gift contingent on certain events, or leave a percentage of your estate to us.
- Tax Relief. If your estate is subject to estate tax, your gift is entitled to an estate tax charitable deduction for the gift's full value.