You can play a key role in the fiscal stability of First United Methodist Church by including the church in your estate plan. Legacy gifts from members like you will increase the size of the church Endowment Fund, a perpetual fund to support the mission and ministries of the church. These gifts extend far into the future, beyond the lifetime of the member, for the benefit of future generations.
As a visionary donor to the Endowment Fund, you become a member of the Legacy Society. The Legacy Society was created to honor your special gift to the long term support of First United Methodist Church.
Legacy Society member, Bill Weatherford shares his thoughts about his endowment gift:
“My deceased wife, Kitty, and I became members of FUMC when we moved to Pensacola in 1974. We both had been reared as Methodists and selected FUMC because it appeared to be in a position to make a positive impact in the local area.
In our early years here, we supported FUMC with our pledges but left family members as heirs in our wills. As our family members prospered in their careers, we revised our wills to include FUMC as our primary heir.
Presently, I have FUMC as the beneficiary of my stock accounts, CDs and life insurance policy. With uncertainties in increased health care costs and cost of living inflation, I do not know if the dollars will run out before my days run out, but if any dollars remain they go to FUMC to expand its mission and programs to the local area.”
Recognition and Inspiration
To recognize your membership in the Legacy Society and to inspire others to follow your example, the following will be done (unless you request otherwise).
· An annual event honoring Legacy Society members.
· Recognition on the Wall of Honor displayed in a prominent place in the church.
· Invitations to special events and annual endowment seminars.
Legacy Society Membership
Membership in the Legacy Society is simple. If you include First United Methodist Church in your will or trust, or in your other estate planning, just contact the church office and inform the staff. You may use the reply form on the facing page to inform us of your planning. Any details of your gift will be held in the strictest confidence.
Leaving Your Legacy
Think about your needs, those of your loved ones and your commitment to the First United Methodist Church. Thoughtfully planned, any of the following gifts may bring important personal benefits while providing a future gift to the church.
· A bequest is a flexible and easy way to establish a legacy.
· A gift of retirement assets, such as pension plans or IRAs, may allow you to give more than you thought possible, while reducing taxes that may consume these assets.
· A life income gift, such as a charitable gift annuity, can give you and/or a loved one payments for life, provide tax benefits and benefit First Church.
· Gifts of life insurance policies you may no longer need can help the church.
Frequently Asked Questions
A review of your assets will identify the best way to make a planned gift. Donors often find that planned gifts enable them to use assets to support the church that might otherwise be lost to estate, income or capital gains taxation. Always seek the counsel of professional advisors on the best estate plan for your individual situation. The First Church staff is experienced in assisting donors with questions about gift planning and is available to meet with you at any time.
1. What is an endowment fund?
A fund is established by the church to receive estate gifts, trusts and other significant giving over and above the annual gifts and tithes which support the annual operating budget of the church. An endowment gift is a permanent investment in the mission and ministries of the church. It provides for the sustenance of the church year after year.
2. How much is required to give?
$1,000 is the minimum gift to the Endowment Fund. Smaller gifts are welcomed by the Living Trust fund. For a named endowment, the minimum gift is $50,000.
3. Do I need an attorney to make an endowment gift?
No. However, more complex gift plans may require advice from your financial planner. The church holds seminars on a periodic basis to provide more detailed information on planned giving.
4. Do I have to revise my will?
There are lots of ways to give a gift to the Endowment Fund. Including the church in your will is just one way.
5. Can I donate my house?
Yes, as part of an estate gift.
6. Can I direct how my donation will be used?
Yes, you can designate the mission area within the church you would like your gift to support.
7. How will the church benefit from my donation?
The Endowment Fund will allow the church to grow in mission areas, to develop special ministries, and to cover unusual expenses of any kind for the maintenance, repair and replacement of church property.
8. How does the endowment gift differ from my annual gift?
Your annual gift is used to support the operating budget of the church. The Endowment Funds offer the church the opportunity to grow and reach out into new and enhanced program and ministry areas.