Frank & Denise Koch Provide Blessings for both Family and Ministry

“The gifts of our work here on earth will benefit and carry on the Lord’s work for many years to come! It is exciting to be able to share God’s blessings over time and hopefully instill in our children and grandchildren to also be good stewards of the resources God has provided to them.” This was the response given by Frank and Denise Koch, when asked what was most exciting about their new estate plan. Frank and Denise are members of Faith, Hastings, and attended a workshop offered by Craig Stirtz, Gift Planning Counselor for the Nebraska District. At that meeting they decided to make some important changes to their estate plan and requested Craig’s assistance.

Through consultation with their attorney and Craig, the Kochs chose to designate their IRAs as charitable gifts, with some being given as outright charitable gifts and the balance placed into a charitable trust which will benefit their children over time. “We were expertly guided by Craig [and we chose this plan because of] the tax benefits to our children, the support our gifts will ultimately provide for the charities of our choice, and the legacy example it will provide to our children and grandchildren after our time here on earth is done. They will receive monies over many years from the charitable trust that will hopefully remind them to also be good stewards of the resources God has provided for them. Our ultimate wish would be for our children to also find charities that are near and dear to their hearts to help support.”

The Kochs designated gifts for several ministries and charities, including the Nebraska District LCMS. When asked why they chose the Nebraska District they said, “The Nebraska District provides so much to our churches and members. Over the years, we have learned that our congregation doesn’t stand on its own—the District provides so many opportunities for staff, which transcends to the membership.”

Frank and Denise concluded by encouraging people to “be informed; make the time to get the information. Seeing the blessings of our years of stewardship when we were given illustrations of our total net worth was overwhelming, but seeing our various assets as a total allowed us to move forward with planned giving.”

How can gift planning help you?

The gift planning services offered by Craig Stirtz are available to all Nebraska LCMS members as a gift from the Nebraska District, the LCMS Foundation, and Concordia University, Nebraska. His services are available at no cost to the congregations, ministries, and members of the Nebraska District. Gift planning provides creative alternatives for you to give to the Lord’s work through your wills or revocable living trusts as well as through direct gifts, beneficiary designations, retirement accounts, life insurance, life income, and trust agreements.

For congregations, gift planning provides assistance by offering estate planning seminars, giving guidance in setting up congregational endowment funds, helping endowment fund committees promote and invite gifts for their fund, and providing custodial and investment management services for congregational endowment funds.

For individuals, gift planning provides assistance by:

  • Coordinating and clarifying individual goals and family needs.
  • Comparing your present wills and estate plans with your current goals.
  • Sharing information about opportunities and options that will benefit your loved ones and the Lord’s work.
  • Offering assistance in making a final witness of your faith in Jesus Christ through a Christian preamble or statement of faith.
  • Providing a set of documents that summarizes your goals and desires, which assists with the attorney appointment.
  • Helping you understand the technical information related to estate planning and various charitable trust agreements.
  • Exploring property ownership, including potential options for property distribution.
  • Assisting with gifts that provide an income stream to you or your loved ones initially and a charitable gift in the future (life income agreements) through the LCMS Foundation.
  • Assisting individuals wishing to make gifts using assets other than cash (i.e., stock, retirement plan assets, farms, business interests).


Contact District Gift Planning

craig stirtzContact Craig Stirtz at 402-616-0312 or with your questions about gift planning or about holding a gift planning workshop at your congregation. More information about gift planning is available on our website.