“What a sweet providence it is to find friends thus willing to assist us.”
– Saint Mother Theodore Guerin

Your gifts will fund our future

You can secure a legacy with the Sisters of Providence without jeopardizing your ability to meet current and future obligations by designating the Sisters of Providence through an unrestricted bequest in your will. In addition to the personal satisfaction of making a philanthropic bequest, there a definite tax benefits that can be realized as well.

A legal will is the foundation of all estate planning. It allows individuals to determine the final distribution of their estate, and designate that all or a portion of their assets be used for the benefit and support of charities such as the Sisters of Providence. A bequest is the most popular type of charitable gift. Most donors prefer a bequest because of the simplicity of the arrangement. You simply direct in your will that your entire interest in certain money or property be transferred to the Sisters of Providence. Of course your estate will be entitled to a charitable deduction for the full fair-market value of your gift.

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Types of unrestricted bequests

A general bequest is the most popular type of charitable bequest. You specify the dollar amount the Sisters of Providence is to receive. For example, a bequest of $10,000 is a “general” bequest.

A specific bequest is used to specify property (or stock) the Sisters of Providence is to receive. For example, 50 shares of Company XYZ is a “specific” bequest.

A residuary bequest is used to give all or portions of your property (estate) to the Sisters of Providence after all debts, taxes, expenses and all other bequests have been paid. It may augment a general or specific bequest to the charity if the size of the estate allows — after ensuring that other beneficiaries receive their bequests prior to distribution to the charity. For example, wording such as “the rest of the possessions that I own at my death,” would be a “residuary bequest.”

A percentage bequest can be expressed as a percentage of an estate or a residuary estate. For example, I give 50 percent of my estate to the Sisters of Providence to be used for its exempt purposes.

A contingent bequest would be used when a beneficiary dies before you or the beneficiary disclaims the property. In anticipation of such an occurrence, you would name the Sisters of Providence as the alternate or contingent beneficiary thus ensuring the property will pass to the Sisters of Providence rather than to an unintended beneficiary.

Providing income for family members

Your financial responsibilities to family members can easily extend beyond your lifetime. Continuing income may be needed to provide for a surviving spouse, elderly parents or others who count on you for help. In such a situation, an outright bequest to a charity may not meet your needs. A charitable gift annuity may be more suited to this situation. Please click on the annuity section for additional information.

Do I need a will?

Are you among the majority of adult Americans who do not have wills? Some 70 percent of us will spend a lifetime of working, accumulating an estate, and caring for a family and loved ones and then leave the important matter of the distribution of our property up to state law, that may not be in accordance with our wishes. Probably no other document in your lifetime is as important as your will.

Regardless of your age or your financial circumstances, there is no better time than the present to plan for the disposition of your assets through the means of a will prepared by your attorney. A carefully thought-out will can minimize the impact of estate taxes and provide more funds for your family, as well as an enduring expression of your charitable wishes.

The attorney who prepares your will might suggest that some part of your property be left in a trust to provide income to your spouse for his or her lifetime, with the property then passing to your children. Trusts of this nature can often be used to save estate taxes. Your attorney can also show you how a gift made under your will to the Sisters of Providence can save estate taxes.

Your will should not be made and forgotten; it needs to be reviewed periodically and revised if circumstances dictate a different disposition of property.

How do I make a will?

Many people choose to prepare their will using a program available via the internet. However, a complex will requires the expertise of a qualified professional such as an attorney. Regardless of the method used to prepare your will, the following will assist you in beginning the process:

  • Make a list of all your property and its approximate value;
  • Determine to whom, how and when you assets will be distributed;
  • Name an executor who wil lmanage the estate in accordance with your intentions;
  • Create trusts for your spouse, children, or others, thus providing income for beneficiaries as well as saving taxes;
  • Reduce and sometimes eliminate estate taxes; and
  • Make gifts to charity. A charitable organization can never inherit from the estate of an individual who dies without a will.

Myths about wills

MYTH: “Only rich people need wills.”

The reality is that families who are not rich are the ones most likely to be hurt by not having a will. Having the state decide what to do with your assets (life insurance, retirement benefits, home, savings, and securities) or your children, presents a larger challenge for your survivors. Even the house you own with your spouse may not go to your spouse if you die without a will.

MYTH: “People without dependents do not need wills.”

The reality is that if you’re single with no children, then the state is likely to decide who among your blood relatives will inherit your estate. Nothing would go to friends, close relatives or any charity you may have wished to support.

MYTH: “Younger people do not need wills.”

The reality is that every adult is likely to need a will, especially young married people with children. Accidents occur, and it is not uncommon for fatal accidents to involve both parents. Not having a will means you have no say about who is to raise your children or about how they will be provided for monetarily.

MYTH: “All my property is in joint ownership.”

The reality is that it is unlikely that all of your property is jointly owned—for example, retirement benefits, death benefits from your employer, income tax refunds, etc. More important, if the creation of joint ownership in the property creates a gift, then federal and state gift tax and estate tax consequences may need to be considered. And what happens if both you and the joint ownder die in a common accident?

It all begins with making a will.

We urge all donors to consult with your financial and legal advisors for a full discussion of implications of any planned gift.

For more information about including the Sisters of Providence in your will or to request a FREE brochure on wills, contact:

Connie Gualano,
Planned Giving Manager
Mission Advancement office
1 Sisters of Providence
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, IN 47876

Phone: (812) 535-2811
Fax: (812) 535-1009
E-mail: CGualano@spsmw.org

Available Brochures include:

  • Planning Your Will with Trusts
  • Planning Your Will: Insights and Options

The Sisters of Providence keep all benefactors, constituents, alumnae/i and companions in daily prayer.