What we say in our will or other estate plans attests to what we found meaningful during our lifetime. Through advance planning we all have the opportunity to leave such a legacy as a role model to our children, grandchildren and community.
Legacy gifts are also ways to give thanks to God for the gifts and blessings given to us, to affirm the value we attach to our faith community, and to provide for the ongoing ministries and mission of Saint Mark’s.
In the absence of a will, the Probate Court will decide how assets are distributed. To be certain that your wishes are carried out, it is important to make plans and review them whenever life situations change. One way to do this is by participating in an annual Remember, Renew, Rejoice! event at Saint Mark’s.
Types of Legacy Gifts
A legacy gift may be directed to Saint Mark’s as an unrestricted gift or as a targeted gift. Unrestricted gifts allow for maximum flexibility to meet the evolving needs of the parish. Targeted gifts may be designated for the Endowment Fund (for unrestricted or restricted purposes) or to one of our many restricted funds, such as the Trinity Guild Fund (for maintenance and repair of our buildings and grounds), the Memorial Garden endowment fund (for the perpetual care of the garden), the Organ Completion Fund, or the Gary L. Garber Canterbury Choir Scholarship Fund.
Bequests through your will are the most common form of legacy gift. You may specify a dollar amount, a piece of property, or a percentage or the residual of your estate to the church.
Beneficiary designations. Some parts of your estate can pass directly to a recipient outside of probate, simply by designating the beneficiary. You can name Saint Mark’s beneficiary of a life insurance policy, pension, retirement fund, commercial annuity contract, bank account, or broker-age account. When you set up or modify your will, talk with your attorney about possible tax benefits from these arrangements.
Planned giving. Legacy gifts also include making current gifts (such as charitable gift annuities or trusts) that can provide donors with current tax benefits, pay income to donors during their lifetimes, and leave the remainder to Saint Mark’s. You can learn more about such life income gifts or set up such a fund through the Columbus Foundation or the Episcopal Church Foundation. (See resources below.)
How your gift will be used
The Vestry and Trustees both honor the donor’s expressed intent. In the absence of expressed donor intent, however, the Vestry or the Trustees may direct the use of the funds as they determine. During a capital campaign, the Vestry may direct realized bequests it receives during the campaign toward capital projects. At other times, realized bequests may be added to the general endowment, from which a portion is allocated each year toward the annual budget, or to other restricted funds.
Whichever of the funds to which we choose to contribute, this is another way we continue to be good stewards of Saint Mark’s and help assure the long-term financial health of the parish.
Saint Mark’s treasurer and members of the Parish Trustees are always willing to meet with individuals to discuss their wishes, and share more about how legacy gifts support the ministry of the congregation . Because some planned gifts can be quite technical— and each person’s circumstances are different—it is always important to consult ones own financial advisor and legal counsel as well.
Contact the Treasurer here.
Episcopal Church Foundation in New York City: 1-800-697-2858. Helps establish and manages many types of income-generating planned gifts which the donor may direct to any Episcopal church or program. Affiliated with the national church.
The Columbus Foundation and its staff are dedicated to helping strengthen and improve the community through charitable giving. It is committed to supporting the many aspects of philanthropic giving—from creating funds and selecting grants recipients to complex estate planning. Under one roof are experts in donor services, professional asset management, and extensive community information resources. The Foundation is committed to honoring charitable intent of its donors and working as stewards of the legacies left to the Foundation across generations. 1234 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205-1453, 614-251-4000.