Wills and Trusts
Every adult should have a carefully planned Will. A Will forms the basis of a person’s estate plan, regardless of the value of their assets. A Will is necessary even if other estate plan arrangements, such as a living trust or jointly-titled property, are in place.
A valid Will is a legally binding document that can help guarantee your objectives at the time of your death – your legacy – will be honored.
A Will is written and executed in accordance with the laws of each particular state. The attorney you hire to help prepare your Will should be licensed in the state in which you reside.
To help you prepare your Will, the Missionary Oblates have created these resources to help you make sure that you properly preserve your legacy.
Share Your Blessings
This 12-page booklet explains how to get started in making or updating your will, and the various options you have in regards to planning. A quick checklist is also provided for gathering information that you will need before seeing an attorney who will help you distribute your assets.
Will and Trust Planning Workbook
This 48-page workbook is a thorough resource that will help you gather vital information regarding your assets, values, priorities and directives – all in one location. You will be fully prepared to meet with your attorney, thus allowing for a more efficient and thorough planning of your Will or Trust.
Your Will is one of the most important documents you will ever execute. With a Will you can:
- Contribute to the financial security of your heirs or beneficiaries.
- Maximize the assets your beneficiaries will receive.
- Memorialize yourself and your loved ones.
- Distribute assets while minimizing taxes.
- Help the charities closest to your heart.
- Minimize complications for the executor of your estate.
When you support the Oblates in your Will, you are:
- Educating seminarians in the United States, Zambia and Mexico.
- Providing housing for the poor in Mexico.
- Helping three Oblates minister in Turkmenistan, the only Catholic priests in the entire county.
- Supporting elder and infirmed Oblates in the United States.
- Bringing hope to God’s most abandoned people throughout the world.
Legal title: Oblate Missionary Society, Inc.
Tax ID: 26-0634043
As you plan or change your Will, consider including the Missionary Oblates as a beneficiary. Your bequest of any size helps the Oblates share the Good News of Christ.
Types of Bequests
A specific bequest directs that a specific item or items be given to a beneficiary. For example, “I bequeath my diamond rings to my daughter, Mary Smith.”
A general bequest directs that a specified amount of money or percentage of your estate be paid to a beneficiary. As a primary “debt” of the estate, a general bequest of a specified amount of money must be paid, even if other assets have to be sold to obtain the cash.
There are two types of general bequests. The first is absolute, meaning that a fixed amount is designated. For example, “I bequeath $25,000 (absolute) to my son, Joseph Smith.” The second type is variable, meaning that a percentage of the total estate is designated. For example, “I bequeath 25% of my cash assets (variable) to my son, John Smith.”
Monetary bequests pose the difficult problem of being absolute and fixed, while the value of an estate is variable. For this reason you may want to consider a variable bequest of a percentage of your estate as a more accurate expression of your wishes.
A residuary bequest directs that a beneficiary receive all that remains in an estate after payment of funeral costs, debts, taxes, administration, probate costs and specific and general bequests have been made. For example, “The residuary of my estate is to be divided equally between my daughter, Mary Smith and the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
A contingent beneficiary may be named in your Will to receive bequests intended for the primary beneficiary in the event the latter dies first. Under the laws of most states, if a beneficiary of your Will dies before you, that bequest will be void and the property will pass to any residuary beneficiary you have named. If the residuary beneficiary has not survived, the property may pass under the intestacy laws of your state. Thus charities, such as the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, are often named as contingent beneficiaries.
It is important that all of your assets, including your life insurance, employee death benefits and jointly-owned property, be coordinated in a single, overall estate plan. Your Will alone does not represent a complete estate plan because it controls only the disposition of your probated assets.
A Revocable Living Trust
If your estate is complicated, you may wish to consider using a Revocable Living Trust as the cornerstone of your estate plan. A Revocable Living Trust is one you can change or cancel during your lifetime.
Unlike a Will, a properly-funded Trust does not go through probate because the estate is controlled by a trustee of the Trust – usually you and your spouse. It prevents the courts from controlling your assets should you become ill and it gives you control over the assets you leave behind for your children and/or grandchildren.
A Revocable Living Trust allows you to combine all of your properties and assets into one Trust, including bank accounts, CDs, retirement plans or even life insurance. Transferring all of these assets into a Trust is referred to as funding your Trust. You will still need a Will, however, for “rollover” assets from your estate that have not been placed previously in your Trust.
In the Trust agreement, you can direct how you want Trust property to be used after your death. You can even name the Trust itself as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy and your employee benefits. Assets placed in the Trust during your lifetime will escape the delays associated with the probate process.
Did you know there is a simple, effective way to provide for the future of the Missionary Oblates? Simply name the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate as a beneficiary of one of your assets, such as the following:
- IRAs or Retirement Plan
- Certificate of Deposit
- Checking and Savings Account
- Life Insurance Policy
- Commercial Annuity
It only takes three steps to make these types of gifts. Here is how to name the Missionary Oblates as a beneficiary:
- Contact your retirement plan administrator, insurance company, bank or financial institution for a change-of-beneficiary form.
- Decide what percentage (1 to 100) you would like the Missionary Oblates to receive and name us, along with the percentage you chose, on the beneficiary form.
Return the completed form to your plan administrator, insurance company, bank or financial institution.
For more information, please call the Office of Charitable and Planned Giving at 1-800-233-6264.