It’s important to get the wording right in your Will when leaving money to your church or other institutions like St. Augustine’s Seminary. Register file photo

The right words for giving

By 
  • October 29, 2020

Leaving a bequest to the Church is your legacy to the faith you have cherished during your lifetime. Making sure your wishes are fulfilled means making sure the wording in your Will is correct.

For instance, if you’re leaving money to your local church, it’s important to use the full legal name, especially since many areas have churches bearing the same saint’s name.

A common request in the Archdiocese of Toronto’s Development Office is for the proper wordings to include in the Will if someone wants to make a bequest to their parish or to any archdiocesan charity.

Here is some sample language to consider when writing your Will (in this case using St. Augustine’s Seminary as the example):

To give a specific amount:

I direct my Trustees to pay to ST. AUGUSTINE’S SEMINARY the sum of $ __________ for its general use and I declare that the receipt of the person professing to be the Treasurer of ST. AUGUSTINE’S SEMINARY or other proper person to receive such sum shall be a sufficient discharge to my Trustees.

To give a specific amount for a specific purpose:

I direct my Trustees to pay to ST. AUGUSTINE’S SEMINARY the sum of $ __________ to be used for (DESCRIPTION OF PURPOSE/S) and I declare that the receipt of the person professing to be the Treasurer of ST. AUGUSTINE’S SEMINARY or other proper person to receive such sum shall be a sufficient discharge to my Trustees.

You may also add a “Power to Vary” clause, for example, “if at the time of my death it is impossible, impractical or inadvisable to apply the gift to this purpose, ST. AUGUSTINE’S SEMINARY may at their discretion direct the gift to a similar purpose or to another purpose consonant with the spirit and intention of this gift.”

To give a residuary bequest (a percentage of your estate after all other obligations have been met):

I direct my Trustees to pay or transfer ____% of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate to ST. AUGUSTINE’S SEMINARY, and I declare that the receipt of the person professing to be the Treasurer of ST. AUGUSTINE’S SEMINARY or other proper person to receive such sum shall be a sufficient discharge to my Trustees.

To give a specific bequest of shares of mutual funds:

I direct my Trustees to pay to transfer all (or ___%) of my shares in XYZ Company to the ST. AUGUSTINE’S SEMINARY, and I declare that the receipt of the person professing to be the Treasurer of ST. AUGUSTINE’S SEMINARY or other proper person to receive such sum shall be a sufficient discharge to my Trustees.

Masses in your Will:

I give and bequeath to Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation for the Diocese of Toronto in Canada for the benefit of (name of parish) in (town/city) the sum of $______ which shall be used for celebrating Masses for myself (and spouse, etc.). I direct that the receipt of the signing officer for the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation for the Diocese of Toronto shall be a sufficient discharge to my Estate Trustee for such payment.

(The Archdiocese of Toronto maintains a professional advisor list that includes lawyers, financial, insurance and tax planners in your area. To receive a copy, please contact the Development Office at development@archtoronto.org)

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