One of our most basic rights …
… endowed by their Creator … certain unalienable Rights … Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness
As of this writing, most of us are sheltering in place to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19. We are experiencing very personally how keeping all of us safe requires limiting our rights to congregate and travel, and this is leading to some interesting debates about various kinds of rights.
One right we have which is neither published widely nor highly observed is the right to name what will happen to all that we own after we are gone. Your “last will and testament” dictates who will inherit all that you did not give away during your lifetime.
In the United States, only 40 percent of people make a will or an estate plan, and of those, only 8 percent leave money to charity.
Why do so few of us exercise this right? Even though we know we are going to die, we don’t like to think about that eventuality, and we may be intimidated by the process of creating an estate plan. We imagine it will be complicated or require lawyers, and we may think we really don’t own enough to make it worth the effort.
If we think about the people we love, what we believe in, the many ways we have worked to make the world a better place, we realize that when we create an estate plan, we make a statement to the people and organizations we love; we want to continue to help them once we are no longer here.
Here at Loretto, we have been working for justice and acting for peace and for more than 200 years, and we hope to continue in one form or another for another 200 years. We invite all of our readers to join us by doing two things:
- Create a will or estate plan, if you haven’t already, or make sure it is up to date if you have one.
- Make Loretto one of your beneficiaries.
If you already have done both of these, please let us know. And please know how appreciative we are.
The Loretto Community has been able to run schools, colleges, programs to help the poor, to address oppression, and to work here in the United States and internationally, in part because of the generosity of people who have gone before us. We promise to be present for the people who come after us, and we invite you to join us.
Whether your bequest is $100 or $1 million, whether it is your bicycle or your house, whether it is 1 percent or 100 percent of your estate, you know that what you cared about in your lifetime will continue as your legacy. This is your right.
We thank you in advance for thinking of Loretto as you make your will or estate plan.
If you have questions or want more information, please call Development Director Mary Ann McGivern SL: 314.324.1050. Email her at [email protected]
How to exercise your right
The easiest way to remember Loretto, or any organization or person, is through a bequest. A bequest can be changed at any time and can take many forms.
Here are the most common types of bequests:
A Fixed Amount of Money or Designated Property
“I give and bequeath to the Sisters of Loretto, a nonprofit organization incorporated in the State of Kentucky, $_________” (or describe the real or personal property, including exact location).
A Percentage of the Estate
“I give and bequeath to the Sisters of Loretto, a nonprofit organization incorporated in the State of Kentucky, _________% of my estate.”
A Residual Bequest
“All the residue of my estate, including real and personal property, I give and bequeath to the Sisters of Loretto, a nonprofit organization incorporated in the State of Kentucky.”
A Contingent Bequest
“If [primary beneficiary] does not survive me, then I hereby give and bequeath to the Sisters of Loretto, a nonprofit organization incorporated in the State of Kentucky, DESCRIPTION OF PROPERTY to be used for the Sisters of Loretto general use and purpose.”