First Unitarian Church of Providence
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last will and testament

Clearly, the church would welcome and appreciate being included as a beneficiary under a member’s Last Will and Testament. However, please consider the following when deciding whether this is the best approach. For an asset to be controlled by an individual’s Last Will and Testament, that asset must have been owned by that individual in that person’s name, alone, without a named or designated beneficiary, and therefore structured in a manner so it must pass through the probate court. Wills only "speak" in probate court. And because wills must go though the probate court process, this is not as efficient a manner of gifting as other alternatives. Such assets are exposed to the claims of creditors, such as the State of Rhode Island, for payment of nursing home expenses through its Medicaid program. There is also the delay, cost and lack of flexibility associated with probate court. However, if you are at all inclined to name the church in your Last Will and Testament, please do so.

Get started: Your attorney will want to know what dollar amount or percentage of your estate you are looking to leave the church. They may also ask if your intent is to leave such amounts for the church's general purposes or if you have a specific purpose or fund in mind. Finally, the attorney will need to know the legal name of the Church which is: "First Unitarian Church of Providence, Rhode Island."

Disclaimer: The information provided here is intended to help you think about and evaluate your estate planning options when it comes to charitable giving. You should seek professional advice from an attorney or estate planner of your own choosing in preparing your actual estate plan. Material provided by Paul Brule, Esq. Walsh, Brule & Nault

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