End of Life Planning & Bequests
St. Paul's is home to a beautiful Memorial Garden with dozens of rose bushes where more than 130 of our parishioners have been interred. If you are interested in having your ashes interred in one of the many spaces available in our garden as your final place of rest, please contact our church office. Our garden is kept in perpetual care by wonderful volunteer rose gardeners from our parish, church staff and local professionals, and visits can easily be arranged through the church office. The garden features benches for respite and contemplation.
We also encourage any of our members to write down their plans and preferences for their memorial or memorial service, to help ease the burden on surviving family and ensure that this last important event is just as you would like. We have materials available to help with memorial planning here. If you would like help thinking through your plans, please email us at the address below and we will put in touch with clergy.
A death in the family can be reported to our office at any time, and we will relay it to our clergy to be in touch. Clergy will assist with funeral or memorial plans and can recommend the services of an undertaker or crematorium. For more details on purchasing a space in the garden, please contact our office at [email protected].
Legacy and Planned Gifts, or Bequests
St. Paul's has been able to serve our community since 1889 in part due to the forethought and generosity of our parish members in the past who remembered the church in their wills and trusts.
A bequest, or “planned gift,” is a gift made from your estate to a tax-exempt charity. Bequests in wills, trusts and annuities, and gifts of life insurance are common forms of planned giving. Planned gifts are a generous and effective way to provide for the future of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. There are a number of tax-beneficial ways you can make a planned gift, including:
- a bequest in a will
- a retirement plan gift
- a gift of life insurance
- a life income gift
A bequest in a will is the simplest and most common way to make a planned gift. You may designate any amount of money, a specific asset, or a percentage of your estate. Bequests by will to the church are exempt from federal and most state inheritance taxes. Such a bequest will reduce your total estate value by the amount of your planned gift, which reduces your overall estate tax.
Language for including the church in your will might be: “I give and bequeath (state the amount, asset or percentage of your estate) to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 3290 Loma Vista Rd., Ventura, CA 93003, to be used (describe use) or as the church’s vestry or endowment board deems appropriate.” If you have a specific fund that you would like to designate the gift to go towards, you can contact our office to ensure you include the proper wording.
We are incredibly grateful to have had a long history of contributions and planned gifts from faithful congregants, and we encourage anyone interested in remembering St. Paul's in their end-of-life planning to contact the church about possible options.
End of Life Planning Resources
Reflecting on your life by writing your own obituary can be a positive experience for both you and your loved ones. One thing to remember is there is no wrong or right way to write your own obituary. Most importantly, it should sound like it's coming from you, so be sure to add some personality to your writing. Click on the above links for information on writing your own obituary and writing your life story.
When the end of our time on this earth arrives, we want to leave our families with a clear understanding of our final wishes. Please take the time to make and record these important decisions. Though this may be difficult to think about, it will provide your family and friends the comfort and peace of knowing that the decisions they will make on your behalf are in keeping with what you would want. It is truly a gift to those you love.
A funeral or memorial service provides the ones we leave behind with a way to honor our memory and grieve their loss. It is more for them than it is for us. Please consider the importance of having a memorial service, however simple, for the sake of your loved ones. Click above on our link for full memorial planning materials.