When making a bequest to a congregation, be sure to include the specific name and address of the congregation (there are a lot of congregations named St. Andrew’s in The Presbyterian Church in Canada!).
Sample Will Language for a Legacy Gift
(These are sample clauses only. Your lawyer or estate planner should review any wording.)
If it is your wish that your bequest benefit the total work of the church, then your designation should state: “My trustees shall deliver, pay or transfer (a specific amount, % or the residue) of my estate to The Presbyterian Church in Canada, Presbyterians Sharing.”
A bequest to a specific congregation should read: “My trustees shall deliver, pay or transfer (a specific amount, % or the residue) of my estate to the (name of congregation) Congregation of The Presbyterian Church in Canada, (address of congregation), or, if such congregation does not exist at the time of my death, to The Presbyterian Church in Canada.”
“My trustees shall deliver, pay or transfer (a specific amount, % or residue) of my estate to (full name and address of congregation – or its successor ‐ or The Presbyterian Church in Canada or full legal name of the ministry you want to support), to be used for (list purpose, program, ministry). In the event that circumstances make the specific use of this gift no longer practical or desirable, the Board of Trustees of (name of the congregation – or its successor ‐ or The Presbyterian Church in Canada or name of the ministry area) is hereby authorized to make changes in its use consonant with the spirit and general interest of the gift.”
If you want to designate your bequest for a particular area of ministry, then you can use a clause such as: “To The Presbyterian Church in Canada, the sum of $ , with the request that it be used to assist theological education/new church development/international mission work/etc.” If you do intend to designate a Legacy Gift to a speciﬁc area of the church, please contact us to obtain the best language to use.
Residual contingent trust:
“Upon the death of the survivor of my (wife, husband, etc.) ________________________ and my (son, daughter, etc.) _________________________, my trustee shall deliver, pay or transfer the residue of my Estate, including any undistributed income to (full name and address of congregation – or its successor ‐ or The Presbyterian Church in Canada or full legal name of the ministry you want to support) to be used for any purpose(s) approved by the Board of Trustees of (name of the congregation – or its successor ‐ or The Presbyterian Church in Canada or name of the ministry area).“
Powers of Attorney and Personal Directives
Along with your Will, you may want one or more Powers of Attorney documents. A Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you give someone you trust the right to make decisions for you if something happens and you are no longer able to look after matters on your own. In Canada, the word “attorney” does not mean “lawyer,” it means someone appointed to represent another, or to act in their place.
Each province treats powers of attorney differently. A power of attorney may simply be called a personal directive in your province or territory. In most provinces, there is one document authorizing a person to make decisions about your financial affairs and another document authorizing a person to manage your health care decisions.
Even though your attorney can make decisions for you when circumstances dictate, there are boundaries your attorney has to abide by. Your attorney cannot: make or change your last will and testament, change the beneficiaries of your life insurance plan, or transfer your power of attorney to someone else.
Regardless of your age or state of health, it is wise to prepare powers of attorney and/or personal directive documents when you make or update your will.
For more information on powers of attorney, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/seniors/forum/power-attorney-financial.html
Learn more about Estate Planning: