Planned Giving

Wording Your Bequest

Here are some suggested bequest wordings for your attorney to use in drawing up your will or amending your revocable living trust. Your attorney should help you determine which may be right for you.

Proper Legal Name

Regardless of the specific wording used, it is important that the proper legal name of the entity be used.

Parish: You may obtain the proper name of your parish from its office or from the Diocese if you wish to make a bequest directly to your own parish.

Mission Congregation: The name "The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of California for the benefit of" (name and location of mission church in the diocese) should be used for bequests to any mission congregations.    (This term may also be used if you wish the Diocesan Office to receive and/or manage funds to benefit a parish.)

Other Ministry or Institution: If you wish to make a bequest to benefit a specific program affiliated with the Diocese (e.g. Episcopal Charities, Bishop's Ranch, etc.), please contact the Diocesan Gift Planning Office or the Comptroller for the proper legal name.

BEQUEST: Unrestricted

For A Parish: "I give to _________ Church (Episcopal), located in __________, California, ______________(insert here the percent portion of the estate, the sum of money, description of property, or "the rest, residue and remainder of my estate"], to be used for its general tax-exempt purposes and without other restrictions as to use."

For Another Ministry of the Diocese: "I give to the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of California,  with offices in San Francisco, CA, for the benefit of_________________ (mission or parish name) in___________________ (city)," or its legal successor thereto), or name of the ministry/program and Diocese, to be used for its general tax-exempt purposes and without other restrictions as to use."

BEQUEST: for Endowment

Insert in place of the last phrase above:  "which bequest shall [add to/create] a permanent endowment of which the principal is kept intact and only the income and/or appreciation expended, to be administered in accordance with policies established by the [Diocese/Parish] for its general tax exempt purposes and without other restrictions as to use."

BEQUEST: Restricted

If the purpose of the gift is restricted, we ask that donors consult with the Diocesan Gift Planning Officer or their priests (as appropriate) on how to word restrictions so that their wishes are carried out.  The appropriate words should be substituted for the last phrase in the general wording above, following the phrase to be used for . . . .

If the gift is restricted and is to be an endowment, the purposes should be as general as possible, as specific programs change over time.  It is also recommended that the following sentence be added:   "If in the future there is no longer a need for the funds so specified or it is unwise, in the opinion of the governing board of said organization, to use the gift for the purposes specified above, then the board may, in its discretion, use the gift for the fulfillment of such other tax exempt charitable objectives as it may designate, keeping in mind the objectives set forth above."

Tax Efficiency of Your Bequest

In order to reduce possible income taxes due on the estate, the attorney may add, "This gift shall be paid out of 'income with respect of a decedent,' as that term is defined in the Internal Revenue Code, to the fullest extent possible.  If such 'income with respect of a decedent' as valued for U.S. tax purposes is insufficient to pay this bequest, then the bequest shall be paid to the extent necessary out of the general assets of my estate."