Is there a foundation in your future?

Thinking about “end of life” issues is not the cheeriest of meditations, but it is important. Relax! Breathe! It’s not happening now.

In planning for the hereafter and the beyond, one non-spiritual planning tool tops all others: Our will — our final oath and testament. This critically important document distributes all our earthly possessions.

Die without a will and you don’t control who gets what. Die with a will and your wishes are likely to be respected in far greater detail than your living wishes ever were. It’s the law.

Most people’s first consideration in framing a Will is the future care of loved ones. Also, where was your time spent? Was your money spent on family support, church, or charity?

After you die, Uncle Sam will take his share unceremoniously. You can’t take any. “There are no pockets in a shroud,” my pastor once told me. So, you are left with two categories: people and institutions.

Would you not want your money, after death, to go to the same people and institutions you carefully chose to support in life?

To what extent did the church participate in the distribution of your income while living? Was it five percent? Was it the historically called for tithe of ten percent?

How much should “the church” be given in your will? This is where some thought is useful. Should you give it to your local parish, your diocese, to some Catholic educational institution, or other “church” entity? Should you give it in one lump sum as your estate is settled or to provide a stream of income over future years for the benefit of your chosen “church”?

One good option to consider is the variety of individual funds that comprise the Catholic Foundation of South Georgia, Inc. There are individual parish funds, school funds, seminary training funds, clergy retirement funds, and many others. The bequest can be small or large. The Foundation has accepted gifts as small as $5,000 and as large as $5,000,000.

Jack Markley is past chairman of the board and current trustee of the CFSG and parishioner of St. Williams Church, St. Simons Island.

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