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Legacy & Planned Giving

Creating a bequest in your will for the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of El Paso is a powerful statement in your legacy, and costs you nothing today. If you’ve supported the Catholic Foundation in the past, a bequest can advance our mission to support diocesan parishes, schools, ministries, and charities for generations to come, while being a part of your lasting legacy.

The Catholic Foundation accepts gifts and pledges of cash, current assets, and planned gifts, including life insurance, charitable gift annuity, appreciated securities, retirement plans, real property, and charitable remainder trusts. Donors may create a Named Fund with a minimum contribution of $10,000 over a five year period or add to an existing Named Fund. Donors may designate their gifts to the parish, school, ministry, or charity of their choice. If you are interested in legacy and planned giving, please contact Major Gifts Officer Sofía Larkin at (915) 872-8412 or slarkin@elpasodiocese.org, click here to start your free will.

 

Why do you need a will?

Having a will is arguably one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. Not only can a will legally protect your spouse, children, and assets, it can also spell out exactly how you would like things handled after you have passed on.

Wills are not just for the rich and wealthy. Regardless of how much or how little money you have, a will ensures your wishes are heard. It states that whatever personal belongings and assets you have will go to family or the beneficiaries you name or designate. If you own a business, a will can help ensure a smooth legal transition of those assets.

Beyond your property and personal belongings, if you have minor children, a will is a must. A will ensures that you get to choose your children's legal guardian should you pass before your children are of legal adult age.

Through a will, you can also name what is known as an executor, or the person you trust to have the authority to ensure that your wishes are carried out and to ensure that all of your affairs are in order from paying off bills to canceling credit cards. 

Without a will, a court makes these decisions on your behalf, among others, through a lengthy and often stressful process called probate. Few people plan to die, but if you die suddenly without a will, you will inadvertently subject your family and loved ones to unnecessary confusion and anxiety at what is already a difficult time.

Religious issues are too often overlooked in the estate-planning process. For the nearly 70 million Catholics living in the United States, about one in every five Americans, this is unfortunate and unnecessary. For many, their Catholic religious issues are important, especially when facing a crisis, such as a terminal illness or the impending loss of a loved one. What can be done to infuse legal documents and planning with these values?

Each aspect of a plan—financial, retirement, insurance, end of life, death, and post-death (for example, trusts for heirs) can be tailored with the Catholic values that may be important to your life generally. Small changes, however, can make a tremendous impact on your heirs and the causes you believe in. Each change can be planned and implemented to be consistent with your particular beliefs and wishes.

As Catholics, all of us are called to be good stewards of the gifts that God has entrusted to our care. We are not the owners of our material gifts, but rather stewards, caretakers or custodians, of what belongs exclusively and entirely to God. For people of faith, estate planning is stewardship. An estate plan is an ultimate, final act of stewardship. We pray for God’s guidance on the appropriate distribution of our estate. Creating a will, trust and other estate-planning documents ensures our family is cared for after we are gone. 

We're here to help you. Please contact Major Gifts Officer Sofía Larkin at (915) 872-8412 for resources and information.

What is the cost?

In some cases, it's free. To thank you for supporting the future of our Catholic faith, we’d like to share FreeWill, a free estate-planning tool to help you support your own future. Take 20 minutes to write your will and protect your blessings. Get started on your free will here.

It’s very common for a lawyer to charge a flat fee to write a will and other basic estate planning documents. The low end for a simple lawyer-drafted will is around $300. A price of closer to $1,000 is more common, and it’s not unusual to find a $1,200 price tag.

Some estate planning lawyers bill clients by the hour. The hourly rate will depend primarily on the lawyer’s experience and training, and where you live. In a small town, you might find someone who bills at $150 per hour, but in a city, a rate of less than $200 per hour would be unusual. Lawyers in big firms generally charge higher rates than sole practitioners or small firms, unless a small firm is made up of lawyers who specialize in sophisticated estate planning and tax matters. A lawyer who does nothing but estate planning will probably charge more than a general practitioner, but should also be more knowledgeable and efficient.

Have questions? Please contact Major Gifts Officer Sofía Larkin at (915) 872-8412.

How much time does this take?

It can take as little as 20 minutes, a couple of days, or several weeks.

FreeWill is a free estate-planning tool to help you support your own future. Take 20 minutes to write your will and protect your blessings. Get started on your free will here.

Traditionally, making a will involves setting up a meeting with a local attorney and then visiting their office to discuss your wishes and instructions, which normally takes around 30-40 minutes. After your meeting, your lawyer will send you a draft for review within 1-2 weeks. Once you've reviewed your will and approved it, you'll meet with your attorney again to sign your documents and final copies will then be available for pick-up or can be delivered or mailed to you. 

Need assistance? Please contact Major Gifts Officer Sofía Larkin at (915) 872-8412.

What is the process?

If you don’t have a will or your will needs an update, you’ll complete the process with a completely up-to-date plan that protects your loved ones and assets, in addition to defining your legacy. FreeWill can also be used with more complicated estates by generating a list of documented wishes that can be brought to an attorney.

If you choose to use FreeWill the process can be outlined in three simple steps:

1. Fill out online

It only takes 20 minutes to fill out the information needed to create your last will and testament.

2. Print out forms

The information you provide is combined with the precise language of our legal forms, and provided back to you as a printable will.

3. Sign & keep safe

To make your will official, sign and initial the document in-person with your witnesses. Keep your new will somewhere safe but accessible.

If you have a larger estate, children with special needs, or complicated family dynamics, you may want to pair FreeWill with an experienced attorney's help. Set up a meeting with a local attorney and take your printed forms with you. Contact Major Gifts Officer Sofía Larkin at (915) 872-8412 to learn more about Catholic estate planning and the giving that is right for you and your family.

    What are my gift giving options?

    You can donate to endowed funds to provide continual resources for charities, ministries, parishes, and schools for years to come. Today, tomorrow, forever.

    Donors may create a Named Fund with a gift or pledge of $10,000 or more over a five-year period benefiting the parish, school, ministry or charity of your choice. You can also add to a Named Fund at any time in honor of an anniversary or in memory of a loved one.

    Give your IRA or 401(K) to charity. You may find that your retirement plan can be an excellent additional "pocket" from which to make all or a portion of your charitable gifts each year.

    You can leave your home to the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of El Paso directly through your will, or you can use a life estate arrangement to make a gift of your home or other property now while retaining the security of knowing you may live there as long as you wish.

    You can name the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of El Paso as the owner and beneficiary of a life insurance policy and receive an immediate income tax charitable deduction. There are also other options available to donors interested in retaining ownership of a policy as an asset for financial security.

    If you are interested in legacy and planned giving, please contact Major Gifts Officer Sofía Larkin at the Catholic Foundation at (915) 872-8412.

    Types of Giving

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