“I just don’t feel ready to talk about this type of thing,” said Diane to her friend, Marlene. “Now just isn’t the right time.”
Diane was referring to an insert in the Sunday bulletin about creating a legacy gift to the Church. “First of all, I don’t like talking about death. And second, Don and I already have wills. They were created several years ago when the kids were young.”
“But that’s exactly why Darryl and I decided to take a look at ours,” responded Marlene. “A lot of things have changed since our kids were little. For one thing, none of them are living at home—all three are out on their own. They don’t need an inheritance in quite the same way that they would have when they were young.”
“So?” said Diane.
“Well, Darryl saw a copy of the United Church’s Will Workbook at the back of the church one Sunday and brought it home. As we worked through it together, we realized that our sense of legacy extends beyond family and we want to give something back to the community—to the Church specifically.
“The Church has helped us in so many ways over the years,” continued Marlene. “We’ve had great ministers; our children have developed strong values for life; and as we’ve matured, it has helped us shape our ideas about what really matters. It has provided the whole family with a great legacy.”
“So as good stewards, it feels good to return the favour.”
“So what did you do?” asked Diane.
“We met with our financial advisor, who agreed that a bequest in our will was the best way to go at this point. We decided that we could treat the Church like one of our children, and split our estate in four ways.”
“We also talked to Kathryn Hofley, the United Church Financial Development Officer in our region. She helped us identify how we want to see our gift used. So it will be split between World Development and Relief and the congregation. And she also gave us the correct wording to put in the will.
“Well, maybe it is the right time to think about this after all,” said Diane. “I suppose there’s no harm in getting the information. At least I’ll have an idea of what I want to talk about.”
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Establishing a legacy gift for the Church doesn’t have to be complicated. For example, the easiest way is to have a bequest written into your will.
To receive a copy of the United Church’s Will Workbook and help in naming your beneficiaries within the church, contact
Kathryn Hofley, Financial Development Officer
The United Church of Canada