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Life Insurance – A Simple Way to Leave a Legacy

Terry and Rick Giorgetti

By Carolina Scipioni

It is commonly understood that life insurance provides for the financial well-being of loved ones upon death. Perhaps less obvious is the fact that this same principle can be used to benefit those organizations that we support during our lives and that we would like to continue to support in the future.

For Terry and Rick Giorgetti, using a life insurance policy to support their dearest organizations made all kinds of sense.

Terry and Rick met in 1968 when they were both students at Santa Clara University. A few years later, they were married and beginning what would become a lifetime of service. The strong values of a Jesuit education had helped solidify what they were always taught in their early years, “Our time, talents and treasure,” Terry says, “are a gift from God and we must find ways to share them with others.” With this guiding principle, the Giorgettis actively participated in the life of each community that they have touched, including Holy Family Parish.

A few years ago, Terry and Rick decided to go one step further in their support of their parish by gifting a life insurance policy to the Holy Family Parish Endowment, held at The Catholic Community Foundation. “Many of us make donations of cash to the organizations that we care about each year,” Rick explains. “And, like Terry and I, many of us wish that we could do even more for them.”

By naming the Foundation as both owner and beneficiary of Rick’s life insurance policy, the Giorgettis will be able to make a significant future gift to the Holy Family Parish Endowment. This act of generosity makes them a member of the Society of Saint Joseph, which is how the Diocese of San Jose and the Foundation recognize people who leave a legacy to the Church.

Life insurance can be gifted to any parish, school or Catholic organization in several different ways: 

  1. Give a New Policy. Make the charity owner and beneficiary of a new life insurance policy. You can take a charitable deduction for ongoing premium payments as you make them. 
  2. Give an Existing Policy. If you have an existing life insurance policy you no longer need, you can change the owner and beneficiary to a charity. You will receive a charitable tax deduction for the value of the policy, plus a charitable deduction for any additional premiums you pay.
  3. Name a Charity as a Beneficiary. Simply name the charity as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy that you continue to own and pay for. While you can’t take a charitable deduction for premiums you pay, the proceeds directed to charity can provide an estate tax deduction. 

Gifting a life insurance policy is very simple. “It doesn’t take an enormous fortune to do what we did,” Rick says. “In fact, when people start to understand the simplicity and affordability of this kind of planned gift, they realize that almost anyone can do it.” 

We thank Terry and Rick Giorgetti and all the Society of Saint Joseph Founding Members for their existing and future contributions to our local Church. 

If you want to learn more about how you can use life insurance and other assets to benefit a Catholic organization, or have already made provisions for the Church in your estate plans and would like to become a member of the Society of Saint Joseph, contact Carolina Scipioni at (408) 995-5219 or
scipioni@cfoscc.org. Learn more at cfoscc.org/SocietyofSaintJoseph.

Carolina Scipioni, Endowment & Planned Giving Program Manager for the Catholic Community Foundation of Santa Clara County.