Time to make a Will - providing for family, friends and the Parish
“Making a Will makes sure the money you leave behind goes exactly where you want it to – family, friends and causes you love.” Making a Will is not a subject that most of us are keen to think about - or very good at “getting round to”! Lots of things keep us from taking this most important step of “putting our affairs in order”. We worry that a making a Will could be costly and it requires us to think about unpleasant things, like our own deaths. But it’s important and worthwhile to get this sorted out while we still can. None of us can predict the future - but having a good Will means that we can be reasonably sure that our God-given wealth will go where you would want it to go. If we die without making a Will, there are laws which decide where our money goes Often, these laws will have the same result as we would wish. But now that many of us have more complex family relationships, you can’t rely on that. If you have step-children, or a dear friend, no matter how much loved, they don’t get anything of yours if you haven’t named them in a Will Capital rich but income poor Most of us - especially if we survive our spouses - are worth far more dead than alive. The rocketing value of houses mean than many of us will leave assets worth £¼ million and more, even if we have had to struggle to pay our bills. God’s call to be generous We are all called to be generous givers. We are called to make offerings to God in thanks-giving for all that He has given us. But for many who have found, through no fault of their own, that money has been in short supply, a generous gift in a Will may turn out to be the last opportunity to make that thanksgiving. For the Church or the taxman? Anything you leave to a Charity (like the Church) is tax-free. It gets taken off the value of your property before your estate is assessed for Inheritance Tax. Nor does any tax have to be paid by the Church because it is a registered charity. What you leave is what Parish gets. Possibilities for the Parish A legacy, especially if it is a share in your total estate rather than a fixed sum, can make a huge difference to the Parish. Since needs change over the years, we encourage you to leave a gift in your Will for the general purposes of the parish rather than for a restricted purpose. Possible uses of your gift can be discussed with your executors when the time comes, bearing in mind your known areas of interest in the church (e.g. music, buildings, children and youth, overseas mission or aid) and the church’s priorities at the time. If you would like to make a gift to our church in memoriam, please come and discuss this with Father Bruce too. It can be a wonderful and appropriate way to remember a loved one. You can be confident that your gift will be used to make a real difference to the work of the Parish. Next steps Leaving something to the Parish in your Will makes sure that you will have been able to help Jesus’ work on Earth, even if you haven’t been able to give much (apart from your time and your prayers, which are of enormous value!) during your lifetime. Your family and close friends must always come first, of course; but once they have been provided for, a gift, perhaps, of a suitable percentage of your final wealth can be of wonderful value to your parish; the needs are always so great! So, whenever the time is right for you to think about making or changing your Will would you also remember your parish please? You can specify the purpose of a legacy, if you wish. But do bear in mind that the needs of the parish may have changed by the time your legacy becomes payable! Unless you feel strongly about it, maybe it’s best to leave it open. For the same reason, it is wise not to leave a legacy that names your parish priest as he may not be there at the relevant time. Ask your legal adviser, once your family and friends are provided for, to use one of the following clauses. Suitable clauses to leave a gift to the parish • For a share of your estate “I give X% [ or a fraction ] of my residuary estate, free of all tax or duty, to the Catholic Church of Our Lady and St Kenelm, Halesowen, West Midlands being part of the Archdiocese of Birmingham Registered Charity Number 234216”. • For a fixed amount “I give to the Catholic Church of Our Lady and St Kenelm, Halesowen, West Midlands being part of the Archdiocese of Birmingham Registered Charity Number 234216 the sum of £. . . . . free of all tax or duty.” Thank you, and may God bless you with a long and happy life!
The Catholic Church of Our Lady and St Kenelm Siviter Street, Halesowen, West Midlands B63 3JU Parish Priest: Rev. Fr. Bruce Dutson The Presbytery, 22 Cobham Road, Halesowen, West Midlands B63 3JZ Telephone 0121 602 1972 Email firstname.lastname@example.org