Gift Planning

The financial support ministry of the Nebraska District covers many aspects of ministry, but all of these areas work together in fulfilling the ministry before us in the Nebraska District. These areas include The LCMS Foundation/Nebraska District Gift Planning, the Lutheran Church Extension Fund, and the District’s Business and Finance Office.

The LCMS Foundation/Nebraska District Gift Planning serves all congregations, ministries, and members of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, providing creative alternatives for you to give to the Lord’s work through direct gifts, beneficiary designations, retirement accounts, life insurance, wills, life income and trust agreements.

Your LCMS Foundation/Nebraska District Gift Planning Counselor is trained to assist you and work with your legal counsel. Your Gift Planning Counselor’s goal is to help you prepare a gift plan that accomplishes your goals–using some of your blessings to do the Lord’s work.

Members of LCMS congregations receive personalized counseling regarding wills, estate planning and charitable planning on a free, no obligation, confidential basis.

Contact the Nebraska District Gift Planning/LCMS Foundation Staff

 

Craig Stirtz, LCMS Foundation and Nebraska District Gift Planning

Serves all members and ministries of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod with creative alternatives to provide for your loved ones and ministry through direct gifts, wills, trusts, beneficiary designations, and life income agreements.

Joyce Bruha, Assistant for Finance and Gift Planning

Helps answer questions in the treasurer’s office, makes appointments with the treasurer, and assists with your gift planning questions.

By phone: 1-888-643-2961, 1002
Email Craig Stirtz: craig.stirtz@lfnd.org
Email Craig Stirtz’s assistant, Joyce Bruha: joyceb@ndlcms.org

Gift Planning Articles and Bulletin Sentences

Click here to find an archive of articles and short segments about gift planning that you can use in your congregation’s newsletters and bulletins.

For more information, or to receive these directly by email each month, contact Joyce Bruha: joyceb@ndlcms.org

Gift planning provides assistance to congregations by:

  • Offering Estate Planning Seminars.
  • Giving guidance in setting up Congregational Endowment Funds.
  • Helping Endowment Fund Committees promote and invite gifts for their Fund.
  • Providing Custodial & Investment Management Services for Congregational Endowment Funds.
An endowment fund…
  • is an asset managed by your congregation or ministry t0 provide ongoing support for your ministry.
  • may be used to manage gifts received subject to restrictions that your congregation has accepted.
  • may have multiple funds for various areas of ministry (education and scholarships, mission work, human care, capital needs, music, etc.)

Gift planning provides assistance to individuals by:

  • Coordinating and clarifying individual goals and needs.
  • Offering encouragement to make a final witness of faith in Jesus Christ through a Christian preamble. (Martin Luther gives us a great example of a Christian Preamble in his Will. You may read an introduction and the full text of Martin Luther’s Will here.)
  • Providing in writing a complete outline that summarizes the goals and desires of the individual, which assists with the attorney appointment.
  • Sharing information on opportunities and options to benefit l and the Lord’s work.
  • Assisting with technical information on estate planning and various trust agreements when applicable.
  • Explaining property ownership, including tax and probate cost implications.
  • Providing information on living trusts, durable powers of attorney, living wills, and various estate planning vehicles.
  • Reviewing present wills and estate plans.
  • Assiting with life income agreements through the LCMS Foundation.
  • Assisting individuals with their direct gift planning and its impact on income tax and estate tax planning.
  • Assisting individuals wishing to make gifts using assets other than cash (i.e., stock, retirement plan assets, farms, business interests).

You can read more about Gift Planning here

Estate Plans

All estate plans, regardless of estate size, can include a gift for ministry when the Lord calls you to heaven. Every gift is a testimony to our loved ones.

If you have been blessed with a large estate, the Foundation can help you and your advisors understand complex gift planning techniques, such as charitable lead trusts and business succession planning.

Giving Plans

The LCMS Foundation offers a variety of giving plans to fit everyone’s situation. The Gift Planning Counselor is available to sit down and visit with you regarding the various options available through these giving plans. 

Annuity Trust
  • You give securities or cash.
  • You get a fixed payment for life, or a term of up to 20 years.
  • The payment rate must be at least 5 percent per year of the trust’s initial value.
  • You receive an immediate tax deduction.
  • If you give securities, you pay no capital gains tax at the time of the transfer.
Deferred Payment Gift Annuity
  • You give securities or cash.
  • You set aside funds now so you will receive a high fixed rate of payment beginning at retirement or another future date.
  • You receive an immediate tax deduction.
  • Part of each payment is a tax-free return of principal.
Donor Advised Fund
  • You give securities, cash, grain, or personal property.
  • You direct how interest and principle are to be distributed.
  • You can name successor advisors.
  • You receive an immediate tax deduction.
  • Ordinary income property (crops, livestock and equipment) can be transferred into this agreement.
  • If you give securities or real estate, you pay no capital gains tax at the time of the transfer.
Endowment and Memorial Fund
  • Individuals (through direct gifts or deferred giving plans) or congregations (through custodial agreements) can establish these funds through the LCMS Foundation.
  • Endowment fund income is paid to the ministry of your choice.
  • Memorial funds pay income and allow withdrawal of principal.
Estate and Gift Planning
  • You provide in your will or living trust for gifts which will occur at death.
  • Help is available for all estates large or small.
  • If you have been blessed with a large estate, the Foundation can help you and your advisors understand complex gift planning techniques, such as charitable lead trusts and business succession planning.
Gift Annuity Agreement
  • You give securities or cash.
  • You get fixed payments for life. The rate depends on your age. If you are 70, for example, your rate for life is 5.1 percent; if you are 90, your rate is 9.0 percent.
  • Part of each payment is a tax-free return of principal.
  • You receive an immediate tax deduction.
  • If you give securities, you pay no capital gains tax at the time of the transfer.
Life Insurance Gift
  • Substantial gifts can be made by transferring a new or existing policy.
  • The LCMS Foundation becomes the owner. The ministries of your choice are the beneficiaries.
  • The amounts you contribute to the Foundation to pay premiums are tax deductible.
Life Reserved Agreement
  • You give the remainder of a residence or farm while continuing to use the property for life.
  • You sign a maintenance, insurance and tax agreement to clarify that you remain responsible for expenses during your life.
  • You receive an immediate tax deduction.
  • You also receive probate and estate tax savings.
Pooled Income Fund Agreement
  • You give securities or cash.
  • You get all income earned from your share of the fund.
  • The agreement lasts for your life and the life of one beneficiary.
  • You receive an immediate tax deduction.
  • If you give securities, you pay no capital gains tax.
Pour-Over Trust
  • You create a trust during your life, but it need not be funded until your death.
  • You provide in your will, or in beneficiary designation forms, that some of your assets “pour over” into the trust at your death.
  • Trust will provide income to surviving family for one to 20 years.
  • Arrangement is revocable.
Unitrust
  • You give securities, cash, real estate, or income property.
  • You get a variable payment for life, or a term of up to 20 years.
  • The payment rate must be at least 5 percent per year of the trust’s annual value.
  • You receive an immediate tax deduction.
  • Ordinary income property (crops, livestock and equipment) can be transferred into this agreement.
  • If you give securities or real estate, you pay no capital gains tax at the time of the transfer.