Estate Planning

Estate Planning

Give through Wills and Trusts

The Western Dominican Province has partnered with FreeWill to give you a an easy way to write your legally valid last will and testament (or trust for CA residents), free of charge.

It's our gift to you, whether or not you choose to leave a gift to the Dominicans.

Click here to visit and learn more.

A will is an important part of protecting your loved ones and values. Yet, it's often something we put off for too long.

A "bequest" in a will is also one of the easiest ways to make a planned gift to one or numerous charities.

For example, you can decide that, upon your passing, all (or a portion) of your estate or trust can be donated to the Dominicans.

Wills allow you to:

  • Use and control your assets during your lifetime.
  • Make a gift to charity upon your death.
  • Claim an estate tax charitable deduction, potentially reducing your family’s tax obligations upon your death.

How to Make a Gift

For your convenience, sample bequest language is given below that you can use with your advisor in writing your own will. If you'd like help writing a will, you can also use our free service at

Always consult your professional adviser before making financial or legal decisions.

Sample Bequest Language

Bequest of Cash
I give to the Province of the Holy Name, Inc.
the sum of $______________ to be used for the greatest need [or to be used for stated purpose goes here.]

Bequest of Property
I give to the Province of the Holy Name, Inc.
[Description of property] to be used for the greatest need [or to be used for stated purpose goes here.]

Bequest of the Complete (or Partial) Residue of Estate
I give to the Province of the Holy Name, Inc.
all [or ________% of the remainder and residue] of my estate to be used for the greatest need [or to be used for stated purpose goes here.] To the extent that my estate has items of “income in respect of a decedent” available for distribution, those items shall be allocated first to any gifts under this Will qualifying for the federal estate and income tax charitable deductions.

Though not required, it is helpful to have a copy of the page of relevant provisions from your will or trust showing the Province of the Most Holy Name, Inc. as a beneficiary. To send us a copy of your bequest to the Dominicans, please send it to or by mail to our offices.


Gifts through Retirement Plans

Making gifts from your IRA, 401(k), 403(b), ESOP, or other qualified plan, can offer you some unique advantages such as:

  • Avoid income and estate taxes levied on the assets left in your plan.
  • Use the charitable deduction of the gift to offset other taxes.
  • Eligible starting at 70 ½ years old.
  • At 72, use a gift from the plan to meet the minimum withdrawal requirement.
  • Can continue to make withdrawals from the plan during your lifetime.

How to Make a Gift

Ask your plan adviser for a change of beneficiary form, and make the “Province of the Holy Name, Inc.” a beneficiary. Our relevant tax and contact information is here.

Upon your death, all (or a portion) of the assets left in your plan pass to the Dominicans.

Want some extra help? Click here to use FreeWill’s simple and secure online tool to help complete your IRA charitable distribution form. It automatically includes most of the important information your advisor needs, saving you lots of time and hassle.

Start My IRA Gift Form


Gifts of Life Insurance

You can make a deferred gift to the Province of the Most Holy Name, Inc. using life insurance. This may allow you to make a larger contribution than you thought possible.

Benefits may include a current income tax deduction for the gift of the policy, continuing income tax deductions for periodic premium payments,removal of the insurance from your taxable estate, and the satisfaction that comes from making a gift to benefit the Dominicans.

Types of Insurance

Term Life Insurance is rarely used to make a charitable gift as the policy doesn’t provide an internal cash buildup or any benefits other than payment of the face value upon death.

If required premium payments are made, paid-up Whole Life Insurance can make an excellent gift as there is a cash buildup as well as a death benefit.

If you make the Province of the Most Holy Name, Inc. the owner of your policy, you may be eligible for an income tax deduction for the gift of the policy. And any annual gifts made to the province to pay future premiums will qualify for an income tax deduction.

You can also make a gift of a “paid-up” life insurance policy, which can either be cashed in by the Province immediately, or held to receive the benefits at a later date.

Life Insurance policy gifts can be transformational, used for major projects, advancing important programs, or starting endowments.


Making a gift of your life insurance policy can:

  • Allow you to make a low-cost gift to charity, one that doesn’t adversely affect your cash flow.
  • Make a larger gift to charity than you man have thought possible
  • Enjoy an immediate income tax deduction for the cash value of a surrendered policy.

How to Make a Gift

Ask your plan adviser for a change of beneficiary form, and make the Province of the Holy Name, Inc. a beneficiary or owner of your life insurance policy.


Gifts of Real Estate

Before making a gift of real estate, please contact the Development Office at or 510-295-0115.

Unfortunately, not all property can be accepted, and due diligence is required to protect the donor and the province from costly errors.

For thousands of years, the gift of land has made some of the Church’s most inspiring places of worship and study possible.

Similarly, the funds from property sales have also advanced the mission of St. Dominic in profound ways. Your gift of real estate can continue that great tradition.

Real estate can be donated even while you continue to use it (aka "Life Estate"), and can offer significant savings on your taxable estate.

Appraisals are needed, and unfortunately, not all property can be accepted.

Real estate can also be transferred through what’s called a “Bargain Sale”.

How a Bargain Sale Works

  1. You sell the Province of the Holy Name, Inc. your property for a price less than fair market value.
  2. You receive the cash from the sale and a charitable deduction for the difference between the fair market value and bargain sale price.
  3. While you may owe some tax on the amount you receive from the sale, the charitable deduction from your gift could offset your taxes this year.

Benefits of a Bargain Sale

If you are considering selling your property, a bargain sale will help you meet your goals. Bargains sales can:

  • Avoid capital gains tax on your charitable gift.
  • The deduction from your gift will give you valuable tax savings that may reduce your tax bill this year.
  • With the cash received from the sale, you may then reinvest to create more income for your future.
  • You’ll be helping to advance the mission of St. Dominic!

Due Diligence for Real Estate Gifts

With gifts of real estate, the Province of the Holy Name, Inc. performs a due diligence evaluation of the property to determine its acceptability.

This evaluation has two purposes: to ensure a meaningful gift will result with real impact for the donor, and to ensure that the province and the donor share an understanding about what will happen with the property.

Due diligence includes an assessment of the property’s marketability, outstanding mortgages, liens, or presence of hazardous materials or dangerous conditions.

The province will always work transparently with donors to understand the process and discuss any actions needed to make the property acceptable for transfer.

To begin this process, please contact our Development Office at 510-295-0115 or


Make an In-Kind Gift

The treasures you have today could help advance the mission of St. Dominic tomorrow.

Gifts-in-kind are appreciated, and can supply the friars with important equipment, tools, supplies, and valuables, such as computers, cameras, art or books, quality vehicles, and other materials helpful to our mission of preaching.

As we are unable to accept all items, please contact the Development Office at or 510-295-0115 to inquire about the options available to you.

Basic Acceptance Policy

All gifts-in-kind are reviewed, accepted and officially acknowledged. Prior to acceptance, the gift is reviewed to see if it meets province needs.

The Province of the Most Holy Name reserves the right to decline any gift that does not further the province’s goals or may involve special maintenance or other conditions the province would be unable to satisfy.

The donor is responsible for making arrangements to deliver the gift. Additional approvals may be required for works of art.

IRS Appraisal Guidelines

The province does not provide gift valuation. In accordance with IRS regulations, the donor is responsible for determining the value of an accepted gift. If the estimated value of the gift exceeds $5,000, then a qualified appraisal is required by the IRS to substantiate a donor’s charitable deduction for gifts-in-kind.

Province employees and volunteers are not qualified appraisers, and federal regulations do not permit the province to give appraisals or estimates of value.

For taxation details, see IRS Publication 526.

Disclaimer: the Western Dominican Province does not advise on any personal income tax requirements or issues. Use of any information from this site or any other web site referred to is for general information only and does not represent personal tax advice either express or implied. You are encouraged to seek professional tax advice for personal income tax questions and assistance.

I am profoundly grateful to you for making our life possible, especially for the education that I have received during my formation. I have learned languages that I never expected that I would learn and acquired knowledge that I never imagined I would have. And now, equipped with these skills, I am ready to minister to the people of God. None of these would have happened without your generous material and prayerful support.
- Fr. Gregory
I am thankful for both your generosity and your friendship. Thanks to your life of faith and the stories that have grown from that faithfulness, I am prepared to preach for the salvation of souls. We are all in this together as part of the Dominican family, and without your support I would not be nearly as fruitful. God bless you for your inspiring example!
- Fr. John
I wish, indeed, I could send a million dollars for all the inspiration and help to get closer to God that I've experienced from the Dominicans over many years.
- Rosemary - Eugene, OR
I remain deeply grateful for God’s blessings and the support of our benefactors. As I begin my ministry as a Deacon, I look forward to serving God and his people, who, through their prayers and financial support, are making my service possible.
- Rev. Br. Martin Maria
When I think of the people who have supported us brothers (spiritually, personally, financially), I am given even more fire to work for the salvation of souls. On the spiritual side, God gives me the fire and grace to want to preach the Good News, but it’s also receiving the human support that helps the human side of me to keep up the “good fight”; but that’s what the body of Christ is all about: human to human support, love, and encouragement.
- Fr. Chrysostom
Thank you for giving us the time to invest in our future ministry. I know you have made some incredible sacrifices to make my formation possible, and I pray that these sacrifices are rewarded with rich dividends in your life as well as in our ministries.
- Fr. Dennis
I am grateful to God for you who support our Dominican formation—it is your generosity that makes our studies and training possible. We simply could not exist without your partnership in our mission of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. May He richly reward you for this and the many other ways you contribute to His Kingdom!
- Fr. Christopher B.
I hope you realize that you are not simply supporting one organization among many others in the world. You are ensuring in a very real way that the faith has a fighting chance in the most secularized part of the United States. Where there is the most darkness, there is the greatest need of light; your contribution helps our friars become well-honed, well-formed bearers and defenders of the light of Christ.
- Fr. Thomas Aquinas
I am continually humbled by how blessed I am to have received my Dominican education and formation. This training has enabled me to hand on the fruits of my contemplation to others and bring them closer to Christ. I am deeply in the debt of all of the benefactors who have made this formation possible for me, and I hope they all know the immense fruits of their generosity.
- Fr. Christopher W.
The priest is not his own, he belongs to Christ and the Church; and when a man kneels down to receive the sacrament of orders he brings with him all those who have put him there through their own gifts and contributions. The fact that my Dominican formation was only made possible through the generosity of the people of God makes me realize all the more how my priesthood is meant to be a gift to the Church and a sacrifice for the people of God.
- Fr. Bradley
I am so grateful for the formation I received as a student brother. Those years of study, prayer and contemplation have prepared me well for my first priestly assignment, and I am very grateful to you for making it possible. Please pray that I may continue to grow as an instrument of the priesthood of Christ.
- Fr. Andrew
Ever since I was a teenager I’ve wanted to offer myself completely to God for the salvation of souls. Your generous contributions have helped to make that possible.
- Fr. Joseph Selinger, O.P.
I am truly humbled to know that I did not earn all these good things which I have received in the Order; it was from faithful Catholics who gave of themselves so that the Gospel may be preached. The overwhelming generosity of our donors reminds me that all that I have comes as a gift through the grace of God.
- Br. Matthew
I am grateful for your love and prayers! Because of your unwavering support for us student brothers, you have made our lives possible.
- Fr. Joshua
I support the friars because I love the impact they have! They helped me choose my faith! I'm Catholic because of the Dominicans.
- Alejandra - Seattle, WA