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Gift Planning FAQs

Frequently asked questions regarding wills, bequests, and planned gifts to the Jesuits of the California Province

By clicking on the questions below, you will be linked immediately with the answers.

Q. Why make a bequest to the California Province of the Society of Jesus?
Q. How do I include the California Province in my will or living trust?
Q. I need to write a will. Can the California Province help me?
Q. What’s the big advantage in making the California Province a beneficiary of my retirement plan?
Q. What kinds of assets can I give to the California Province?
Q. What are the tax and income advantages of a charitable gift annuity with the Province?
Q. Who should consider a charitable remainder trust?
Q. Do I need a trustee?
Q. What kinds of charitable remainder trusts are available?
Q. How can I donate my home and live in it at the same time?
Q. What should I do if I have already remembered the California Province in my estate plan?

If you still have questions, please click on contact us , call the Advancement Office at (408) 884-1630, or e-mail giftinfo@calprov.org.

Q. Why make a bequest to the California Province of the Society of Jesus?
A. Your bequest to the California Province profoundly benefits the schools, parishes and Jesuit ministries that have touched your life and the lives of many others.  Your bequest to the Province will help:

  • Educate and sustain Jesuit priests and brothers during the formation process
  • Care for retired elderly and infirm Jesuits
  • Underwrite new social and pastoral ministries in our domestic service area
  • Support Jesuits working in international ministries

Those making bequests to the California Province nurture the roots of the Society of Jesus and invigorate all its living branches, including its schools, parishes, and other social and pastoral ministries.

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Q. How do I include the California Province in my will or living trust?
A. The most common way people remember the California Province in a will or living trust is through a charitable bequest. You do not have to rewrite your current documents. You simply add an amendment, called a codicil, to your will or living trust. Below is some suggested language (also called a codicil) which you can have your attorney review:
"I give and bequeath the California Province of the Society of Jesus, located in Los Gatos, California, $_________" (or state a percentage of your estate, or describe real or personal property, including exact location).

Your bequest is entirely under your control during life and becomes irrevocable only at death. If you have questions about bequests, call the Advancement Office at (408) 884-1630 or e-mail giftinfo@calprov.org.

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Q. I need to write a will. Can the California Province help me?
A. Yes, just ask for our free estate-planning kit. The kit includes:

  • An easy-to-understand but authoritative introduction to wills, living trusts, and basic estate planning
  • An Estate-Planning Inventory Form to help you get a clearer picture of the worth of your estate
  • Information on how to remember the California Province in your estate plan
  • Effective estate planning usually takes time, effort, and a competent attorney. In the end, your plan will allow your family to avoid the delay, dissension, and needless expense which often occur when a loved one dies without a will. Once you have taken care of your family's needs, please consider a thoughtful bequest to the California Province.

To order your estate-planning kit, call the Advancement Office at (408) 884-1630 or e-mail giftinfo@calprov.org.

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Q. What’s the big advantage in making the California Province a beneficiary of my retirement plan?
A. A designation in your IRA or other retirement plan may be a very cost-effective way of making a gift to the California Province. If you leave your retirement plan to your children, they will have to pay income tax on either a lump-sum distribution or the income stream from the plan. The California Province does not pay this tax.

Here’s an example of what this could mean to your heirs: A widower died a few years ago. He left his $300,000 house to charity and his $300,000 retirement plan to his relatives. He should have done just the opposite. The relatives had to pay $80,000 in income tax on the $300,000 in the retirement plan. If they had received the home and the charity had received the retirement plan payment, no one would have paid income tax.

For more information, call (408) 884-1630 or e-mail giftinfo@calprov.org.

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Q. What kinds of assets can I give to the California Province?
A. Here are the ways to ensure the Province will have the resources it will need to support its programs and ministries well into the future:

IMMEDIATE GIFTS

Cash:

  • Fully deductible up to 50% of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) with five-year carry-over
  • Recognition in annual report in appropriate giving category

Real estate (whole or partial interests of vacant land, second home, rental property):

  • Deductible at full appraised fair market value up to 30% of AGI with five-year carry-over
  • Capital gain is bypassed when the real estate is sold by the Province
  • Recognition in annual report in appropriate giving category

Stocks:

  • Deductible at gift date value up to 30% of AGI with five-year carry-over
  • Capital gain is bypassed when the stock is sold by the Province
  • Recognition in annual report in appropriate giving category

Life insurance policy (paid up):

  • Deduction equal to the lesser of the policy’s value (i.e. replacement cost) or the donor’s basis in the policy (i.e. premiums paid)
  • Recognition in annual report in appropriate giving category

FUTURE GIFTS

Charitable bequest (a written commitment in a will or living trust to transfer a percentage of an estate, a specific amount, or a specific property to charity):

  • You remain in control of your assets
  • Revocable by nature
  • May lower estate tax
  • Recognition in the Province’s Legacy Circle
  • May be counted in a campaign if accompanied by testamentary pledge

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Q. What are the tax and income advantages of a charitable gift annuity with the Province?
A. At a time of low interest rates, a charitable gift annuity with the California Province offers guaranteed income to donors at attractive rates. By transferring cash, stock, or real estate to the Province in exchange for a charitable gift annuity, donors receive guaranteed fixed payments for life. Payments are determined according to the annuitant’s age.

Donors also enjoy an immediate charitable income tax deduction and partial bypass of capital gains. In addition, part of their annuity payment is tax-free. For information, call (408) 884-1630 or e-mail giftinfo@calprov.org.

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Q. Who should consider a charitable remainder trust?
A. Donors who want income for life, reduced taxes, and the satisfaction of providing for a good cause like the California Province should consider a charitable remainder trust.

The basic advantages of charitable trusts are fourfold:

  • Lifetime income
  • Immediate income tax benefits
  • Diversification of your assets without incurring capital gains taxes
  • Reduction of estate tax

There are other ways these trusts can benefit your heirs. We will be glad to provide you with income and tax calculations tailored to your particular situation. This will give you and your advisors the information needed to make an informed decision as to whether a charitable trust meets your financial and philanthropic objectives. All information is provided confidentially and without cost or obligation. To arrange a personalized analysis, call the Advancement Office at (408)884-1630 or e-mail  giftinfo@calprov.org.

First, a few words about charitable trusts generally. Anything you place in a charitable trust--cash, stock, real estate--is invested by the trustee to pay you income for the rest of your life and, if you wish, pay your heirs for life or a period of years. After the death of all income beneficiaries, what remains in the trust passes to the California Province.
Your trust may provide you with some important tax benefits:

  • An immediate income tax deduction on a percentage of your gift. We will be happy to give you an idea of the size of your deduction. We simply need to know the ages of the income beneficiary (ies) and the payout rate of the trust.
  • Gifts of appreciated stock are ideal for funding a charitable remainder trust because the stock can be reinvested by the trust for greater income while bypassing capital gains taxes at the time of the sale.
  • No tax on the sale of appreciated property. From the donor’s point of view, this is often the most important tax benefit. Sometimes thousands of dollars that would have to pay capital gains taxes remain in the trust generating income for the beneficiaries.
  • The trust principal is not subject to estate tax. Property that might otherwise be subject to federal estate tax, (which for the largest estates is 47%) passes tax-free to charity. Appreciated real estate is often an excellent asset to place in a charitable trust. Mature investment properties frequently earn only 2% to 4% of their fair market value per year. Consequently, when these properties are sold and the proceeds reinvested by the trust, earnings often increase significantly.

Under ordinary circumstances, owners face substantial capital gains taxes when they sell rental properties or commercial real estate. In some cases, personal residences are also subject to capital gains taxes even after the $500,000 exemption allowed married couples. In any case, because your charitable trust will be selling the property, there will be no capital gains taxes due when the real estate is sold. Thus the entire net proceeds from the sale can be reinvested to produce more income for you.

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Q. What kinds of charitable remainder trusts are available?
A. There are two basic types. An annuity trust will pay you a fixed dollar amount for the rest of your life. A unitrust will pay you a fixed percentage of the trust principal each year, so if the value of the trust principal increases over time, your income increases with it. By law, your trust must pay you at least 5% of the principal. You may choose a higher payout rate if you wish, but the higher the payout rate the lower your income tax charitable contribution deduction.

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Q. Do I need a trustee?
A. Yes, your trust must have a trustee. If you have an individual trust tailored to your circumstances, the trustee can be a commercial institution such as a bank or trust company, an individual with professional experience in trust management, a relative, or yourself. There are some complications in acting as trustee yourself, but it can be done if you understand and comply with IRS regulations. We will be happy to supply you with a list of possible trustees or information on serving as your own trustee.

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Q. How can I donate my home and live in it at the same time?
A. A charitable life tenancy agreement allows you to give a personal residence or farm to the California Province while retaining the right to live there for life. Donors who enter a life tenancy agreement receive an immediate income tax deduction. The deduction is based on the present value of the home discounted by the estimated length of time the charity must wait to receive the home. To put it simply, a person age 70 will receive a larger deduction than will a person age 50. The IRS grants the deduction even though the donor continues to enjoy full use of the home. But the IRS also expects the owner to have full responsibility for the care and maintenance of the home. That’s why life tenancy agreements simply continue things as they are currently, with the donor dealing with maintenance, property taxes, insurance and the like.

The major benefits to the donor are continued use of the home, an immediate charitable income tax deduction, the avoidance of probate, the avoidance of estate tax on the property, and the satisfaction of making a substantial gift to the California Province during one’s lifetime. For more information, call (408) 884-1630 or e-mail giftinfo@calprov.org.

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Q. What should I do if I have already remembered the California Province in my estate plan?
A. We would be honored to enroll you in the California Province Legacy Circle. Please let us know of your bequest by calling the Advancement Office at (408) 884-1630 or e-mail giftinfo@calprov.org.

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