Including Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Church in Your Estate Plan

Would you like to leave a bequest to Saltwater Church as part of your estate plan? There are two ways to accomplish this goal. The first is to include SWUUC in your will or living trust. You can leave either a specific dollar amount or a percentage of your estate. This bequest would be fulfilled as part of the probate (court administration) of your estate or the distribution of your trust. The bequest would ultimately be delivered by your Personal Representative (Executor) or Trustee.

In the case of a probated estate, the bequest would be paid from the assets that are subject to probate, which are generally real property, and financial accounts without a named beneficiary. If the bequest is part of one’s trust documents, then the funds would be generated from assets held in the trust, such as real estate, cash, or securities.

In making a testamentary (will) or trust bequest, the documents need to clearly state the name beneficiary, and provide as much identifying information as reasonably possible, such as Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Church, of Des Moines, Washington. In the event you change your mind, the following options would be available: prepare a Codicil to your will; revoke your current will and prepare a new will; or amend your trust. If a named beneficiary no longer exists at the time of your passing, the bequest will lapse, and be distributed in accordance with the terms of the testamentary documents. For a will or trust to be valid, it must be properly dated and signed by the Testator, and two witnesses must also sign the documents.

The other method of making a bequest to the church would be to name Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Church as a beneficiary of a financial account, such as a brokerage account or bank account. In most cases, the beneficiary designation overrides a Will. When naming beneficiaries on an account, the account holder must provide the financial institution with the name and taxpayer identification number (TIN or SSN) of each beneficiary. The church’s TIN can be requested from the treasurer or the administrator. The beneficiary designation form can name multiple beneficiaries and specify a percentage for each beneficiary. Another option would be to open a separate account in which you name SWUUC as beneficiary. Upon the account holder’s death, the financial institution would contact the beneficiary and arrange for the transfer of assets. If you change your mind, you would need to complete a new Beneficiary Designation Form with the financial institution.

It is also possible to name the church as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy. You can designate percentages of the proceeds to multiple beneficiaries.

In the event you wish to leave your bequest specifically to the Endowment Fund, the wording in the estate planning documents or beneficiary designation form should state Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Church Endowment Fund.

Please consider the above options. If you have further questions, please contact your financial advisor or estate planning attorney.