The Heritage Society of the AFCU was
founded in April 2000. It recognizes members and friends of the American
Church in Paris, the American Church in Berlin and the Vienna Community
Church who have included one or more of these churches in their estate
planning (planned giving).
Perhaps you would like to make a
significant contribution to help the American and Foreign Christian
Union support the commitment it has with the member churches it serves.
There are many giving opportunities available to accomplish your
specific goals and objectives. Planned giving offers the benefits of
deferring your gift until after your lifetime obligations are met and
you and your families are cared for.
Opportunities To Give
your gifts to family, friends and your favorite charitable organizations
in your will.
Use a life insurance policy to leave assets to the AFCU by including it
as one of the beneficiaries or the sole beneficiary of the policy.
Charitable Remainder Trust-
of a charitable remainder trust will irrevocably transfer money or
appreciated assets to a trust that will provide you with income for the
remainder of your life or a set number of years. At the death of the
last surviving beneficiary of the trust, the remaining value of the
trust goes to the designated charitable organization (AFCU).
Donor Advised Fund-
funds are usually available in community foundations and many public
charities. When setting up a donor advised fund, you relinquish control
of the transferred assets and obtain tax benefits at the time of the
donation. You, as the donor, have the opportunity of making
recommendations as to how the money is distributed and at the time you
want it distributed. Flexibility and tax benefits are two of the major
advantages of this type of fund.
Charitable Gift Annuity-
Use of a
CGA is a simple way to make a charitable gift to the AFCU and receive an
annual income. Advantages include gifting appreciated assets that avoid
capital gains tax, low value gifting requirements, timing when payments
begin, and income tax savings when you establish the annuity during your
Charitable Lead Trust-
of trust allows you to provide an inheritance to your heirs while
providing a contribution to your charity of choice. A percentage of the
assets is paid out each year to your charity (AFCU) and at the end, the
remaining assets return to you or your heirs. This type of trust can
reduce gift or estate taxes on the principle transferred to your
Retirement Plan Assets-
Retirement plan assets can be part of
an estate plan and take many different forms,
with three of the most common and well known being a 401(K), a Keogh
plan, and an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). The easiest way to
leave the balance of the account assets of one of these and other plans
to the AFCU after you die is to list the AFCU as a beneficiary of the
People should start thinking about
planned giving when they have a charitable interest in an organization.
Obviously there are also some tax benefits, but people generally want to
help an institution they care about. Periodically we also need to tend
to our financial affairs and update our estate plans. Tax laws and
family situations often change. This requires that every few years or
more frequently, we should examine our plans. By considering where we
stand financially and where we want to make changes, we can better plan
for retirement and look ahead to the inheritance we leave to family
members and to our favorite charities.
The biggest mistake people make about
estate planning is that they donít think about it until it is too late.
In appropriate situations they should discuss the plans with family
members. In setting up a planned gift, it is essential to seek out
qualified financial and legal assistance by using a professional tax
specialist, estate planning attorney or a financial planner.
Estate planning is essential. When
assets remain in an estate after a person dies, the assets can be taxed
heavily depending on the value of those assets. The tax can reduce the
amount passed on to heirs by a significant percentage. A properly
constructed estate plan with bequests to a charity can reduce the taxes
on those assets or avoid them entirely.
Those who wish to qualify for U.S. tax
deductibility for their donations, must include in their documentation
that the gift is made to the American & Foreign Christian Union (AFCU),
an IRS category 501(c)(3)
organization. This is also necessary to obtain the estate tax benefits
(IRC Section 2055) as a charitable contribution. The documentation
should be specific if you desire to have your gift benefit one of the
three churches (American Church in Paris, American Church in Berlin or
the Vienna Community Church). Otherwise the gift will be used by the
AFCU to support all three churches. In all cases, seek appropriate
guidance before any final decisions are made or documentation is
On behalf of these churches, we want
to thank you for your support and your prayers. The American & Foreign
Christian Union truly needs and appreciates your gifts. They serve to
ensure the continuing missions of our churches. If you have any
questions, or if we can be of any assistance with your plans, please
If you would like more information or
would like to further discuss the Heritage Society, please send an email