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Regular people just like you remember the Church in their estate planning, and you can too.
The Church has received many generous bequests from a number of estates over the years. Many Catholics have determined that they wish to provide for the Church through a gift from their estate. Yet many people just don't consider charitable giving when deciding how to make best use of their hard-earned earthly assets.
So, how would it work if someone desired to make a gift to the Church in his or her will?
Instead of using a fictitious example, let's talk about a real-life case. In 1992, three sisters – Edith, Katherine and Margaret Erker – having lived in east Wichita for a number of years and belonging to the Church of the Magdalen Parish, walked into their attorney's office and drafted a document that accounted for how their assets would be disposed of upon their death. None of the sisters had ever married or had children.
But they had witnessed the many good and charitable works of several diocesan programs over the years. As they drafted a will with their attorney, the sisters designated gifts to several charitable entities: their home parish (Church of the Magdalen), the Holy Family Special Needs Foundation (formerly known as the Holy Family Center), The Spiritual Life Center, Priests Retirement Center and to support the continuation of the St. Vincent De Paul ministries throughout the Diocese. Two of the sisters also designated a portion of their estate to two local universities.
When the last of the sisters died in April 2004, the intent, which they had established 13 years earlier, was enacted. Their estate, valued at a very generous amount*, began to pay out. And because of the foresight and vision from three sisters, each of these ministries has been able to rest easier knowing that these gifts will ensure the continued growth of their programs and services.
Edith, Katherine and Margaret were stewards while on this earth. They gave of their time, talent and treasure. And now, after they have been called to a life with Christ, the accumulation of their earthly treasure will provide a lifetime of benefit to many in the Diocese.
In living the life of stewardship, we give 10% of our treasure back to the Lord. Why not consider a gift in our will of 10% to the Church?
*It is the policy of the Diocese of Wichita to not publicly disclose the amount of estate gifts unless given permission by the donor or family of the donor.