September 23, 2021
When most people think of the Beneficiaries of their estate they think of their family and friends. But a Beneficiary can be any person or entity you choose to leave money or assets to. This can include nonprofit organizations and charities.
According to fundraising statistics, although charitable giving in the U.S. has been rising, the percentage of contributions given to religious organizations went down. There’s very little doubt that the fall in religious contributions can be attributed, at least in part, to the massive growth in the nonprofit sector. Potential donors have more places to give, and most of them are not religiously affiliated.
Although the Bible compels us to give to the Church, most Christians don’t. Of the 247 million U.S. citizens who profess to be Christians, only 1.5 million tithe. That’s less than 1%. As a country, we are slightly better. But the average American still only gives about 2% of their income to charity every year. It’s a sad testimony that we as Christians are below the average when it comes to giving.
One tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain from the fields or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord and must be set apart to him as holy.” —Leviticus 27:30. We aren’t technically required to give exactly 10% of everything we earn. Jesus told us not to be legalistic about how we donate. After all, God loves a cheerful giver—we should be doing this out of a love for Him, rather than any obligation. Church giving is a privilege.
Whether you have been tithing “religiously” all your life or whether you have never donated a penny to your church, it is possible to give a gift of a percentage of your estate to the church after you have passed. While there are many that are not comfortable tithing funds that they may need to pay living expenses, this fear dissolves when the potential giver passes away. Many Christians feel their lifetime tithing is not complete until they have arranged in their estate plan for their continuing contribution to the Lord’s work in this world.
Accordingly, it is possible to set up a revocable living trust which will gift a specific dollar amount or percentage of your estate to your church after your passing. The church can then use these funds to promote the Gospel and continue the operations of the church after you pass.
If you would like to discuss methods of supporting your church with a gift from your estate, please give us a call and we would be happy to meet with you to discuss the options.
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