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Hours

(217) 698-8500

Phone

1615 W. Washington St., Springfield, IL 62702

Office for Development

Christian Wills

"As generous distributors of God's manifold grace, put your gifts at the service of one another, each in the measure received"

1 Peter 4:10

What is a Christian Will?

It is the final declaration of your life, and the final expression of your love of God here on earth - a way to show gratitude for blessings. A will that includes Christ is a beautiful conclusion to a Christian life.

Without a Will...

... the state will, in effect, write one for you in an impersonal manner following state laws. You will have court-appointed guardians for minors and perhaps an executor you never met. There will be no consideration for special family needs and no gifts to your favorite charities. Even if you and your spouse own everything jointly, a will is needed in case of simultaneous death.

With a Will...

... you decide

who will receive your property after your death. A will can save unnecessary expense and may provide tax savings, thereby enhancing the property you wish to pass on. With a will, you pick the guardians for your minor children and you continue your stewardship of God's gifts beyond your life. Whatever the size of your estate, you have the right and duty to have a will so your wishes are respected. Please do not put it off. Have a will prepared.

How do I get started?

It is wise to use an attorney to draw up your will because laws change and it is important that your will be prepared properly. Before you go to an attorney, consider using the handy CHECKLIST of items in this brochure. It will help you to make your plans, save you time and help to limit your expense.

What is I need to change my will?

A will is just a piece of paper until you die. You can change it at any time. Your attorney can help you do this. There are many reasons to change a will including changes in the property you have, changes in your needs, the tax laws, your life insurance plans and when the people in your life change.

How much does it cost to make a will?

While inexpensive will kits are available by mail, it may be hard to fit your wishes into a "one-size fits all" format and it is important that your documents be witnessed and executed properly. The cost will range from about $75 to more than $300 depending on the type of will you have, the size of your estate, whether trusts are needed, and several other factors. Talk it over with your attorney first. The cost you pay will insure your desires are met.

Remembering your church

Your Church welcomes bequests to help in the works of charity, education and the continued promotion of our Catholic faith. Your attorney can make sure the proper legal name, city and state of your parish or parish school are listed so your wishes are met. Gifts can also be left to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. In addition, an endowment can be created in your will. The money you give to an endowment will not be spent or withdrawn, only the earnings it produces may be used for the purpose you specify. Endowments for parishes and parish schools are housed in The Foundation for the People of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. You may add to an existing endowment or create a new one in your will. Endowed causes at the diocesan level may include the retirement and health care needs of diocesan priests or seminarian education.

You have several options when making a gift; give a specific dollar amount, a percentage of your estate, or the residue (what is left after debts and bequests are satisfied). Each gift type has different ramifications and you will want to talk to your legal, financial and insurance advisors before making final decisions.

Checklist of things to consider when making your will

People I care about:

  • spouse
  • children
  • grandchildren
  • family
  • friends
  • people in the Church.

For whom do I feel responsible?

For whom do I need to care in the future?

Property I own:

  • Real Estate
  • Farm Land
  • Vehicles
  • Securities
  • Antiques
  • Jewelry

Plan: What items, percentage, or dollar amount do I want people to receive when I die?

Spouse _____________________

Children ____________________

Grandchildren ________________

Family Members _____________

Friends _____________________

Church _____________________

Charities ____________________

Planners: Whom do I need to consult?

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Attorney
  • Financial Planners
  • Church Others?

Who will I name for guardian of any minor children?

__________________________

Who will I appoint as executor to carry out the wishes in my Will?

__________________________

Please...

If you have made a gift in your will to the Church, will you please let us know? Please be assured this information will be kept confidential. Write to: Mr. Shaun Riedell, Office for Stewardship and Development, Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, P.O. Box 3187, Springfield, IL 62708-3187.

If you have left the Diocese of Springfield a gift in your will, we would like to thank you.

Other Gift Options

For more information on other gift options such as stocks, charitable gift annuities and trusts, please contact us at the address above for a free brochure.

Neither the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois nor the Office for Stewardship and Development is involved in rendering any legal or tax advisory services. This general information is offered as a public service. For specific information, you should contact your legal and tax advisors.

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