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.
As a part of the Church’s ministries to its members, the Orange Catholic Foundation offers a week of educational wills and trusts sessions provided by local Catholic estate planning attorneys. Every third week of May and October a two-hour session is offered at 11 parishes throughout Orange County. These sessions are designed to help you protect and provide for your loved ones, update or create your estate plan, and learn more about wills, trusts, estate taxes, probate expenses, guardianship of minor children, selection of personal representatives, and more.
Since the Orange Catholic Foundation’s first “Wills & Trusts Week” in October 2011 through October 2019, over 6,600 attendees have been provided information to formulate well thought-out, personal questions. These resources give our attendees the opportunities to have their questions answered by a lawyer in the privacy of a law office at a later date. These consultations are compliments of lawyers in full stewardship of the gifts God has given them. They help families make well-informed decisions and ensure that the plan they have created will address their specific wishes.
Creating a will or trust is an opportunity to make a statement of your faith. Only through your will or trust can you make a charitable bequest for the ongoing witness of the Catholic Church through your parish and the faith-related institutions and agencies you may care about at home and abroad.
Although most people will organize their night out to watch a movie or create an itinerary for a road trip, most families do not take the time to plan for their future. We simply never get around to doing it. The result is disappointing. When we fail to plan, our dreams, wishes and hopes may never be fully realized. Unfortunately, this also means our family and beneficiaries experience the expense and frustration of estate administration. A few months of probate can destroy what took a lifetime to create. Don’t let this happen to you or your family.
We all desire significance—to lead happy and fulfilled lives surrounded by family and friends. For many of us, there is a compelling need to make a difference – to leave a lasting impact on the people most dear to us and the world in which we live. The search for significance and desire to plan for the future leads many to ponder their legacy. What kind of legacy will you leave? A bequest is perhaps the easiest and most tangible way to have a lasting impact on the people and organizations that mean the most to you.
If after reading this article you have questions or would like to get started on creating or updating your charitable plan, please contact us at 714-282-3021 or info@OrangeCatholicFoundation.org. You can also request for our free Wills Guide, a guide to planning your will and trust and be referred to a qualified estate planning attorney.