The Dutch priest, Henri Nouwen wrote, “Jesus sees that the real fruits of his life will mature after his death. That is why he adds, “It is good for you that I go” (John 16:7).” Planning a gift at death through your estate plans profoundly references death, which can be a disconcerting thought. But, planning a gift at death to support a worthy charity focuses on a positive aspect of death. A positive aspect of death is the fruit from what remains of our estate immediately before we die, whether from savings from work, investments, and our own inheritances from others. This fruit is ready to be harvested at this time. But, like Jesus, you will “need to go” in order for these fruits to be used to help build up the Kingdom of God, because many planned giving strategies are maximized upon one’s death rather than during life.

The gifts that you leave to be harvested at your death are also called “legacy” gifts. To learn more about ways to donate a legacy gift to your parish, an archdiocesan school, or ministry, explore through educational resources, pray, talk to a professional tax advisor, and seek counsel from your pastor.

Terri M. Lynn, M.T.S, Director of Planned Giving,, Office of Stewardship and Development, March 29, 2021