According to many financial experts, you should be talking with your adult children about money, especially when it comes to planning the course your assets will take you are no longer here. Your estate plan can include gifts to said adult children as well as favorite charities and hopefully your church, as a reflection of how you lived your life.

Having the conversation about your estate plan with your adult children may seem challenging, but it is well worth the effort according to Lori R. Sackler, the author of The M Word: The Money Talk Every Family Needs to Have About Wealth and Their Financial Future and Senior Vice President at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.

“Not only will these give your family members a chance to share stories and talk openly about items that mean a lot to them, it will encourage a healthy dialogue and cooperative spirit regarding estate matters. This will prove to be extremely valuable down the road,” says Sackler.

This conversation is the perfect time to communicate with your children about gifts to your faith community. If you haven’t already included such gifts in your plans or are unsure how to do so, consider working with the Catholic Foundation for Northwest Indiana to learn more about ways you can support your parish, your parish school, or favorite church ministry. The Catholic Foundation was created in 2008 as a way to ensure that your assets continue to support the ministry of your choice long after your time here is past. With 29 endowment funds to choose from, you can chose to leave a gift with an existing fund that is dear to you or create a new one to benefit a ministry of your choice.

When an endowment fund is created through the Foundation, an initial gift of at least $5,000 is invested permanently with the earned distributions coming back to the beneficiary forever. Unlike a retirement fund, the principal will never be drawn upon to sustain an operation; rather it will be invested forever, generating exponentially greater returns over time.

While the initial investment might seem like a lot, there are many creative ways and financial tools you can use to add your story to the work of the Catholic Foundation:

Bequests – Bequests are the cornerstone of most estate plans and among the easiest ways for you to arrange a gift. Work with your attorney or legal advisor to draft a will or trust. Contact the Foundation to learn more about such professionals in our local area.

Life Insurance – Select the Catholic Foundation as a beneficiary of all or a portion of the policy’s proceeds.

Retirement Plans –Whether your plan is through your employer or your own Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or 401(k)s, 403(b)s and pension plans, you can select the Foundation as a beneficiary of the remaining balance. Contact the administrator of your plan to learn more.

IRA Charitable Rollover – This law allows individuals age 70 ½ or older to transfer up to $100,000 annually from their IRA accounts directly to the Foundation without first having to recognize the distribution as income.

Financial Service Products – You can select the Foundation as the beneficiary of certificates of deposit or other accounts at a bank or financial institution through a payable-on-death provision.

Once you have decided how to leave a gift, delve deeply into why it is important that your assets continue to support your faith community long after you are gone and share your intentions with your family. Not only do you avoid surprises as it concerns their inheritance, but you also have the opportunity to fully explain what it means to practice Christian stewardship.

To learn more, visit the Catholic Foundation for Northwest Indiana online at, Like us on Facebook, or contact Liz Metts, Executive Director, at or (219) 769-9292 ext. 290.

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