The Tribunal Office of the Diocese of St. Petersburg administers all diocesan estates and trusts in accordance with diocesan policy and procedures. As corporation sole and in accordance with canon law, the bishop is the recipient and administrator of all bequests made to diocesan entities.
There can be many advantages to leaving a gift in this way. Naming a parish, school or diocesan entity in your will, trust or as a beneficiary on a life insurance policy is a way for any parishioner to bless future generations through a legacy gift and support the ministry of the church. The parish, school or diocesan entity also benefit immensely by getting more money than they would otherwise if tax deductions had to be taken into consideration. This gift is a living reminder left by individuals and/or families that will continue to support the causes they believe in for years to come. Any donor can plan a legacy gift regardless of current assets or income.
There are basically two kinds of gifts that most people need to be concerned with. They are residuary bequests and pecuniary (specific) bequests. Pecuniary bequests are the more common for most people. It means that you specify a certain amount that will be given, or you can specify various amounts to be given to several entities.
Residuary bequests are in many ways the easier to make. It means that after you have allotted certain amounts to family members and friends, and whoever else you wish to be considered in your will, whatever is left over will go to a stated entity of your choice. There may be very little left over, or there may be disproportionately too much. However, you do have a choice of how you can distribute money through making legacy gifts.
You may also consider naming a parish, school or diocesan entity as the beneficiary on one of your life insurance policies or IRA account or adding as a contingent or percentage beneficiary to an existing policy or IRA.
To observe the best method for naming a parish and or school in your will or trust, please ask your attorney to use the following terminology:
“I give devise, and bequeath (amount, article, stock, etc.) to Robert N. Lynch, as Bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, and his successors in office, a Corporation Sole, for the use of (insert name and address of the parish, school, etc.).”
For additional information or any questions, please contact the Office of the Tribunal.