Legacy Giving

Legacy Giving (or Planned Giving) can transform the future of First Parish and ensure that it thrives well into the lives of future generations.  By making a Legacy Gift to our endowment fund, your support of First Parish will last beyond your lifetime.

The typical person who makes a legacy gift isn’t a millionaire or independently wealthy. Rather, most legacy givers are simply members who want to make a commitment to the future of our liberal faith.

And, you can increase the amount of your gift through the Wake Now Our Vision Collaborative Campaign. In order to inspire new legacy gift commitments, a cash match made possible by a grant from the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock will be made for each commitment. Visit the website for more details, and submit the form to participate in the challenge.

Thank you to the more than twenty members of First Parish who have already made commitments, resulting in over $30,000 in challenge funding!

Leaving a legacy to First Parish only takes a little planning.  It can be as simple as including a bequest to First Parish in your will or trust, or naming First Parish a beneficiary on your retirement plan or insurance policy. See below for more information.

Types of Legacy Gifts

While the church cannot offer financial or tax advice regarding your gift, members of the Legacy Giving Committee will be happy to answer your questions about different gift types. We encourage you to work with your attorney and/or financial advisor to select the approach that is right for you.

Four basic options are outlined below:

  • bequests
  • retirement plan beneficiary designations
  • life insurance beneficiary designations
  • charitable gift annuities

There are additional options you may wish to consider under certain circumstances, including pooled income funds, charitable remainder trusts, and charitable lead trusts, that will not be discussed further here. Pooled income funds are more attractive in a higher interest rate environment.  Charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts are more complex and individualized vehicles better discussed with your professional advisors.

A bequest is a provision in your will or revocable trust designating a fixed dollar amount, a percentage of your assets, or the remainder of your estate will be given to First Parish in Needham, upon settlement of your estate. Most bequests are fully revocable while you are alive.

Language for Wills

You may add a simple codicil to your will to create a bequest for First Parish. You can make a specific bequest by identifying a block of stock or bonds, a specific parcel of real estate, or other clearly identified marketable asset. Or, you can make a cash bequest in a specific amount or as a percentage of your estate. You can also make a residual bequest from the remaining assets in your estate after all other specific bequests and settlement costs are satisfied.

Most bequests are undesignated which makes them available for general use as part of the General Endowment Fund. This fund exists in perpetuity and generates annual income for First Parish. If you wish to designate a bequest for a particular program or other purpose at First Parish, please contact the church administrator to ensure your bequest can be accepted.

The following sample language can be used to fulfill your charitable objectives:

Specific Amount: I give, devise, and bequeath $ ______________ to First Parish in Needham.

Percentage Bequest: I give, devise, and bequeath __________ % of my gross estate to First Parish in Needham.

Residuary Bequest: I give, devise and bequeath the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate to First Parish in Needham.

Language for Trusts

You may amend your revocable trust to create a bequest for First Parish in Needham. This can be done at any time or as part of a review and updating of your trust, which is recommended every 5-10 years as the relevant laws change. You can make a specific bequest by identifying a block of stock or bonds, a specific parcel of real estate, or other clearly identified item. Or, you can make a cash bequest in a specific amount or as a percentage of your estate. You can also make a residual bequest from the remaining assets in your estate after all other specific bequests and settlement costs are satisfied.

Most bequests are undesignated which makes them available for general use as part of the General Endowment Fund. This fund exists in perpetuity and generates annual income for First Parish. If you wish to designate a bequest for a particular program or other purpose at First Parish, please contact the church administrator to ensure your bequest can be accepted.

The following sample language can be used to fulfill your charitable objectives:

Specific Amount: The Trustee shall distribute $ ______________ to First Parish in Needham.

Percentage Bequest: The Trustee shall distribute __________ % of my gross estate to First Parish in Needham.

Residuary Bequest: The Trustee shall distribute the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate to First Parish in Needham.

You can designate First Parish as a beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k), or 403(b) plan, for a specific amount or a percentage of total assets. Such gifts can save on income and estate taxes.

Leaving a portion of your retirement plan account to First Parish in Needham can help you get the most value from your estate and protect your heirs from taxes. These retirement assets are subject to income taxes when paid out to a taxable entity (i.e., most people, even your spouse or children), even when the estate is too small to owe estate taxes. These taxes can reduce the amount received by your heirs by up to 35 percent. In contrast, nonprofit organizations such as First Parish are eligible to receive the full amount at your death without facing any income tax liability. Income taxes can be avoided or reduced through a carefully planned charitable gift. There are three common approaches:

  • Designate First Parish in Needham as a primary beneficiary for a percentage (1 to 100 percent) of your retirement plan account.
  • Designate a specific amount to be paid to First Parish in Needham before the remainder is directed to family or other individuals.
  • Make First Parish in Needham the contingent beneficiary to receive the balance only if a loved one, as primary beneficiary, doesn’t survive you.

To implement your wishes, please contact your plan administrator, then complete and sign whatever forms are required. This can often be done on-line. You may wish to contact your attorney to be sure you are using the correct language.

You can designate First Parish in Needham as a beneficiary of all or a portion of your life insurance benefits. A traditional life insurance policy (with an accumulated cash value) can be a valuable asset. If the original purpose for the protection no longer applies—such as to educate children now grown or to provide financial security for a spouse now deceased—a life insurance policy can be redirected to help support a worthwhile cause such as First Parish in Needham.

To implement your wishes, please contact your life insurance agent or company and obtain and complete the needed change of beneficiary form. You may wish to contact your attorney to be sure you are using the correct language.

First Parish’s Charitable Gift Annuity program is professionally managed and administered by the Office of Legacy Gifts at the Unitarian Universalist Association and State Street Global Advisors. First Parish’s church administrator can help connect you to the UUA to establish a charitable gift annuity.

A charitable gift annuity is a good arrangement for someone looking to augment their retirement income because it generates a fixed dollar income for the rest of your life. In exchange for your irrevocable gift of at least $10,000 in cash or publicly traded securities, the UUA will pay you a lifetime income based on your age (minimum 65) at the time of your gift. At the end of your life, money remaining in the annuity (the ultimate gift) is distributed to First Parish (and/or the UUA) as you specify. The gift annuity can be for one or two people, so a spouse or other loved one can also receive payments for life.

A portion of the initial gift is income tax–deductible based on IRS rules about the expected value of the ultimate gift. Charitable gift annuity payments are partially income tax–free throughout your estimated life expectancy. If you use appreciated stock to make a gift, you can usually eliminate capital gains tax on a portion of the gift and spread the rest of the gain over your life expectancy.

Make a Legacy Gift

Thank you for your interest in making a Legacy Gift to First Parish in Needham.  To notify us of a legacy gift/record a bequest, complete our Legacy Giving Form  and return it to the church office.

General Information You or Your Attorney May Want to Know

First Parish in Needham is an IRS-qualified 501(c)(3) organization. We are a member in good standing of the Unitarian Universalist Association. First Parish’s federal identification number (FEIN) is 04-2347461. A completed IRS Form W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification is available upon request. For tax purposes, bequests, legacies, devises, or transfers to the Church are deductible as they accord with the provision of the Internal Revenue Code.

For more information, download our Legacy Giving Guide or contact Nancy Simpson-Banker.