Did you know the average person with net worth has only 9% of that in cash; the other 91% is in non-cash assets like the equity in their home, life insurance and retirement benefits?
And, did you know that 60% of Americans die without a will and 70% of those with a will don’t have a current will?
For churches wanting to encourage their members to practice their financial stewardship at a deeper level and educate them about ways to make over-and-above gifts to the church those are key facts of which to be aware. The reason? You can’t put non-cash assets in the offering plate and many over-and-above gifts to charity are made through bequests in wills.
That over-and-above giving is known as “legacy giving”.
A legacy gift is a gift that can’t be put in the offering plate because it is a gift out of assets, rather than income. Tithes and offering giving generally comes from income.
Legacy gifts are made in light of the giver’s overall estate and financial plans. They may require a professional adviser to prepare documents to complete them. And, because such gifts can save taxes, the giver may be able to give more than they initially thought they could or at an earlier time.
Including a legacy gift in your estate plan can be as simple as including a bequest in your will or trust to your church or designating the church the primary or contingent beneficiary of all or a portion of a life insurance policy or retirement account. Since such gifts don’t happen until death, you keep complete lifetime control and use of the assets.
Life income legacy gifts---charitable gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts---are ways to set up a future gift to charity now while keeping an income stream for life or a term of years. The amount that will be paid to you and/or others depends on the value of what is given, the ages of those that will receive the income stream and how long it will be paid to them.
Legacy gifts to your church or other Christian cause allow you to make a lasting difference for the cause of Christ in this world.
The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.