Your Planned Giving can be an important foundation for the next generation of your church. Planned Giving through your will can bring you peace of mind knowing that your estate allocations have been thoughtfully considered among your family, friends, and church. It can allow them to lead lives of eternal significance. What a great legacy to leave for the next generation.
Leaving a Legacy through Your Will
Giving to North Heights Lutheran Church when you die is easy, and there are different ways to complete your gift: a fixed sum of money, a named item, or a percentage of your assets after the beneficiaries have been taken care of.
When you create your last will and testament, more often than not your first priority is your family. However, in many cases, people would also like to leave a gift to a favorite charity or their church.
If your wishes are to leave a legacy (a gift in a will) to North Heights, there are typically three types: a fixed sum, a specific legacy, and a residuary legacy.
A fixed sum of money
This is simply the gift of a fixed sum of money in your will.
A specific legacy is the gift of a named item in your will. Typically, it's an item of value such as a savings account, pension plan assets, securities, an insurance policy or real estate. Leaving a specific legacy can be as simple as the inclusion of a sentence that clearly defines your gift and identifies your church. Keep in mind that the item you are gifting must be in your possession at the time of your death.
A Residuary Legacy
A residuary legacy is leaving all, or a percentage of, the remainder of your estate to North Heights once all other gifts to your beneficiaries (such as to family and friends), outstanding taxes, and other commitments have been taken into account and distributed. Basically, it means that you can leave a set proportion of your estate to charity after other beneficiaries have been taken care of.
If you have already made a will but now want to leave a legacy to North Heights Lutheran Church, you can make an addition or changes without having to rewrite your current will. This addition is called a codicil, and your estate planning attorney can advise you on how to add this to your existing will.
North Heights can assist you with more information about setting up a will.
Leaving a Legacy through Your Charitable Trust
A Charitable Remainder Trust is an extremely popular option that allows you to receive income payments for you and your family while enjoying immediate tax benefits. At the completion of the trust, you will have the joy of giving to the ministry of your choice.
How It Works
To establish a Charitable Remainder Trust, assets are transferred to the trust and managed by a trustee, who, in turn, pays you income according to the terms of the trust. You can receive lifetime income payments for yourself and a spouse, and up to 20 years to third parties, such as children. Upon completion of the trust’s term, the remainder of the trust’s principal is transferred to the ministry of your choice.
Assets You May Give
A Charitable Remainder Trust is an excellent alternative to an outright sale of appreciated securities, real estate or other marketable assets due to its charitable and capital gain tax benefits, but it can also be funded with cash. The funding of the trust creates an immediate charitable tax deduction, and property sold through the trust avoids imposition of upfront capital gains.
Leaving a Legacy through Your Life Insurance
Gifting of life insurance can be an excellent method of leaving a legacy to North Heights Lutheran Church.
There are various options available such as the following:
- Make an absolute assignment (gift) of a life insurance policy currently owned and receive a current income tax deduction.
- Assign the annual dividends from existing policy to your church. This eliminates out-of-pocket contributions, yet still creates a deduction as dividends are paid.
- Name a North Heights as the primary or contingent beneficiary of an existing or new life insurance policy
Leaving a Legacy through Your Retirement Plan or Qualified Pension Plan
Qualified and non-qualified retirement plans are one of the best assets to give to your church because they are exceptionally inefficient in passing wealth to heirs. This is due to the fact that your heirs face both income and estate tax, in some cases leaving very little of the asset for the remaining heirs. Wise planning may be choosing to give the retirement plans directly to North Heights and designate other after-tax assets to your heirs. North Heights receives the total gift, free from tax penalties, and the heirs may receive more than they would have if the donor attempted to pass the retirement plan assets directly to them.
Planning with Purpose
Creating a giving plan is not only a smart financial choice—it’s also a way to provide for your loved ones and bless your church and the favored charities God has placed on your heart. We can assist you create a custom planned giving strategy that will fit your unique needs and circumstances. For Planned Giving, please call John Oldfield at 651-797-7801 or email John Oldfield.
Disclaimer: All information offered regarding leaving your legacy is not intended to provide legal or tax advice. It is advisable to consult with your estate planning attorney or other legal professional regarding changes and/or updates to your giving documents.