December 5, 2013

So many of you care about life—and Lutherans For Life—because God loves life! Thank you. With that in mind, I thought it might be helpful to share some ways you can support LFL as you include us in your long-range planning for the future.

Outright Bequest
One of the easiest ways to include Lutherans For Life in your long-term gifting plans is to simply have a provision written into your will or revocable trust to leave a certain amount of money (dollar amount or percentage of your estate), or specific assets, to LFL at your death.

Beneficiary Designation
If you have a life insurance policy, deferred annuity, or a tax-deferred Individual Retirement Account (IRA), you can choose to make LFL the beneficiary of all—or a portion of— the proceeds at death.

Charitable Remainder Trust
With this type of trust, you are able to make a currently deductible gift without giving up the future income on the asset. You make a gift to a trust, and that trust is designed to provide you with an income stream for life. Upon your death, the assets remaining in the trust are distributed to the charity you designated in the trust.

Charitable Lead Trust
Conceptually, this is the opposite of a Charitable Remainder Trust. You contribute property to an irrevocable trust and the charity you designate in the trust receives the income stream. When the charity’s income interest ends, the assets in the trust are passed to a non-charity beneficiary, such as your children, or back to you.

With these types of future gifts, in most instances there is no immediate income tax benefit received because there is no immediate charitable gift made. An exception to this is the Charitable Remainder Trust. There are, however, significant estate tax benefits that can be achieved from these types of charitable gifts.

When you make a current donation to LFL, you receive a federal and state income tax deduction that you can immediately apply to your tax return.

Your annual gift allows us to carry out our mission each day and provides you with immediate tax benefits, while the planned or deferred future gifts allows us to build an endowment that we can rely upon to secure the mission for the future and provides you with tax benefits later. Both types of gifts will directly touch the lives of those we serve, and both are very much appreciated.

One more option: A Family Endowment Fund – Research documents that upon your death, it will take 13 years or more to replace you as a giving partner at Lutherans For Life. Have you ever considered continuing your annual giving to us or other favorite ministries through a Family Endowment Fund? This could be funding during your lifetime or at your death. It will continue your giving long after you have gone to be with the Lord.

When you are updating your personal estate plan, we would be happy to answer questions. Contact me at; 515.441.6571 or Jim Schroeder at or 515.490.7371.

Kay L. Meyer is director of development of Lutherans For Life.