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(l-r) Evelyn Cornforth, accountant; Troy Peoples, associate vice-president for Finance; Pennie Marshall (seated), executive administrative assistant; Elaine Hagele, vice-president for Finance
It is our pleasure to serve the members of the Mid-America Union in regard to finances and stewardship. We consider it extremely important to ensure that funds you entrust to our care are processed according to the highest professional and spiritual standards stipulated by denominational policies and governmental requirements, as certified by independent auditors.
We are available to answer questions you may have about your finances or to assist you in planned giving. Trust Services provides opportunities to support God's work through special gifts, annuities, bequests and trusts. These expressions of generosity promote the spiritual dimension of Christian stewardship particularly relating to planning one's estate.
Call: 402.484. 3006
Personal Reflections from Elaine Hagele
Vice President for Finance
After my Grammy's stroke, Grandpa decided it was time to move across the continent to be closer to family. Mom helped them pack their memories into a few boxes and sell the furnishings that had followed them from one campus to another from Iowa to Minnesota, to Illinois, to Michigan, and finally to California. They sold the house they had built and the land they had planted with fruit trees.
Grandpa wanted to enjoy giving while he could, so from the proceeds of the property sale he chose to give small gifts to his children's families. As an early teen, when I heard our family was getting a small portion, I started to list in my mind some of the things we could do with it. School clothes were at the top of my list. Thinking of the family, I knew we needed furniture too. Still more nobly, I even put church school tuition on the list. But I was initially devastated when Dad and Mom announced that our family's share of the gift would all be given to the Week of Sacrifice offering. With all the things we needed, why would we give it all away? In time, from my parents I learned to understand that giving is real living. I learned that blessings shared are the best blessings.
Many generous members have built and supported the churches throughout Mid-America. You have generously supported the educational ministries. You have given time and means for evangelism. You have built our youth camps. You have ministered in innumerable ways in your communities. Your giving has breathed life into the church. The sharing of your blessings has been far-reaching.
Planned giving has several components. It is a part of building financial security. It can provide protection for your loved ones. It can help you continue to give to sustain the causes you love. It isn't just for the wealthy. It isn't just for seniors.
Some people procrastinate about making or updating a will because they are having a hard time deciding where to leave their money. Some people think it costs too much to make a will. Some people just don't want to think about their mortality. A will is a way to be sure that your property will go where you want, rather than the state making that decision for you. A will lets you choose someone to settle your estate and lets you choose who will care for your dependent children. A will lets you share your blessings to support the people and the causes you care about.
The ways you give may relate to where you are in your life cycle. Depending on your goals there are many ways to give and receive benefits at the same time. Here are just a few:
- You can make an easy gift to the church program you care about by simply writing a check now, getting an income tax deduction and seeing the immediate impact.
- By gifting long-term appreciated stock or other securities to a charity, you may avoid tax on capital gains and take advantage of a charitable deduction as well.
- A charitable gift annuity lets you further the work of the church while you receive lifetime payments that may be partially tax free. The amount you place in the gift annuity and your age at the time the annuity is created determine the size of the fixed payments to you or another person.
- You can name the church as the beneficiary of the remainder of the IRA assets after your lifetime if you have other assets to leave to your family that might carry less tax liability to your family.
- Present or future gifts of cash, securities or property to family members, friends, your church or other charitable organizations can be given in many ways that may have tax advantages as well.
- You can simplify your giving with a Donor Advised Fund. When you establish a Donor Advised Fund with your conference, you make a tax-deductible gift of cash or other assets. The gift is invested and managed by the conference. You are eligible to receive a charitable tax-deduction for the year that you make your gift. Later on, you advise the conference how you would like those funds to be used.
With any potential gift you should consult your qualified professional legal and/or tax advisors. Planned Giving and Trust Services personnel in your conference are there to help you.
For current ideas of how your gifts can benefit the work of the church and benefit you as well, go to www.willplan.org. Click anywhere on the homepage to help you plan your giving.