Frequently Asked Questions regarding the West Tennessee Catholic Guild

Q1. What is the West Tennessee Catholic Guild?

A1. Formerly known as the Emmaus Guild, the West Tennessee Catholic Guild was established or revitalized in 2024 to honor and recognize those individuals and families who have named the Catholic Diocese of Memphis – including any parish, school, or supporting ministries – in their estate plans.

Q2. What is Estate/Legacy Giving and how does it differ from Planned Giving?

A2. Estate giving, often called planned giving or legacy giving, is a way to make a lasting financial gift. A planned gift as part of an overall estate plan takes your needs as well as the needs of your loved ones into consideration, while also helping support the diocese – including your favorite parish, school, or ministry. Examples of estate gifts include bequests in a will/trust, retirement assets, life insurance policies, gift annuities, real estate, and appreciated securities, among others.

Q3. Why should I make my estate plans known to the Diocese? 

A3. While not required, sharing your plans ahead of time allows the diocese to budget and forecast for future gifts that directly impact the long-term future of our parishes, schools and ministries. In addition, knowing of an estate gift in advance allows us work with you to ensure the intent of the gift is used as you wish, while also having the opportunity to express our appreciation and gratitude.

Q4. Can my gift be anonymous?

A4. Of course, we understand the desire to have gifts be listed as anonymous. If you prefer your estate gift and membership in the West Tennessee Catholic Guild be anonymous, we will happily honor your request.

Q5. My parish, school, or ministry already has a planned giving program/society, how will this be impacted by the establishment of the West Tennessee Catholic Guild?

A5. If your designated parish, school, or ministry already has a planned giving society in place, this will not replace any of those efforts. The hope is that with a diocesan-wide strategy for estate gifts, we are able to enhance and streamline the process for documenting, cultivating, stewarding, and ultimately receiving these types of extraordinary commitments.

Q6. If my plans include a legacy gift benefitting my parish, is this subject to a tithe to the Diocese?

A6. No, as an extraordinary gift your planned gift is not subject to a tithe to the Diocese, and the entirety of the gift will benefit your parish.

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