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Who knew! November is Make-a-Will Month

Where there is a will, there is a way!

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Outdoor church. Wooden seats in front of a stone altar with a red cross.

Making a will can seem like an onerous or overwhelming task, but if you don’t do it, government regulations will dictate how your estate is handled and that may have negative consequences for your loved ones.  You can find a good overview of what will happen here.

Aside from the peace of mind of knowing that your loved ones will receive the gifts you would like them to, you can also ensure that your favourite ministries and charities benefit from your continued generosity.

Including a charitable gift in your will may reduce or eliminate the taxes your estate owes, freeing up more money and assets for your loved ones.  These gifts do not need to be large, they should be from your heart and a part of your lifelong stewardship. Gifts in wills are a testament of our faith and belief in generosity and taking care of others​.

A gift to a charity or ministry in a will is by far the most common type of estate gift.  Each year, congregations and The United Church of Canada receive about $18 million from gifts in people’s wills.  Approximately 80 per cent of that is for congregations​, 15 per cent is for Mission & Service​, and five per cent is for other church programs​.

As you contemplate what kind of legacy you would like to leave for your loved ones and the ministries and charities close to your heart, you may wish to review the church’s will workbook.  It guides you through the process of getting your estate in order and discerning how you would like to fulfill your legacy.

If you already have a will, please review it periodically to make sure it is up to date. There are a number of situations which could trigger changes to your will.  For example, if you buy or sell property or if the executor or trustee you named is no longer able to act in that capacity, you may need to update your will.

In short, reviewing your will every three to five years will make it easier to fulfill your wishes.

If you would like to speak to someone about making a gift in your will, please call 1-866-340-8223 (toll-free) or email legacy@united-church.ca