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Transfer the Blessings

Do you have a will or a living trust? Have you named a legal guardian for your children? Who will act in your place if you ever become mentally incapacitated? How will the blessings that God has entrusted to you be distributed after you go to heaven? While nobody wants to think about death or incapacity, creating a plan to address these questions is an essential step you must take to protect yourself, your property, and your loved ones.

What is Saint John’s Transfer the Blessings Ministry?

Our Transfer the Blessings ministry is committed to providing our members the support and comprehensive expertise they need so they can wisely plan how they transfer their blessings to their families and the ministries they love through a Lifetime Plan for Giving. The wise transfer and stewardship of these blessings to family and ministries can have an impact today, tomorrow and forever. Our faith in Jesus gives us a certainty in eternity. With the help of Transfer the Blessings, we can be just as certain about the way we affect the future for our loved ones! Proper planning can also spare your loved ones of the expense, delay and frustration associated with managing your affairs when you pass away or become disabled.

Meeting with Jason Jones

Jason Jones is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s.

Jason begins each consultation by listening to understand each individual’s unique priorities. Using the information he gathers, he then guides and directs each individual in shaping a Lifetime Plan for Giving that fulfills personal and family goals. This confidential service includes discussion of family matters, the challenges involved in estate plan development and the opportunities. These conversations help you to understand how the benefits of charitable planning relate to your personal goals.

When you ask for Jason’s assistance, you can expect:

  • A prayerful approach to our work together.
  • A convenient meeting time and place, usually at your home or church.
  • No charge for Jason’s services.
  • Guidance and options to organize and implement your Christian estate/gift plan.
  • Complete confidentiality.

What is a Lifetime Plan for Giving?

Through our planned giving process, Jason will help you to establish a complete Christian estate/gift plan. We call this plan your Lifetime Plan for Giving. A Lifetime Plan for Giving is a method of assisting you by summarizing your stewardship and estate planning goals. This step by step process helps you prepare the best gifts for your family and the best gifts for the ministries you love. Here’s what’s included in a Lifetime Plan for Giving:

  • A will or a revocable living trust with a pour-over will.
  • A durable power of attorney for financial affairs.
  • A durable power of attorney for health care.
  • A review of ownership issues and beneficiary designations.
  • A gift plan to provide for your family.
  • A gift plan for your favorite ministries.
  • A statement of faith.

If you already have a completed estate plan, the Lifetime Plan for Giving process can still provide you benefit. During the process Jason will review your current plan. Often this reveals questions or details that need to be addressed. These questions may include:

  • Are your documents up-to-date and valid?
  • Does your plan include a personal statement of your faith that can be used by the Holy Spirit to encourage the faith of future generations?
  • Have you aligned your beneficiary statements with your plan?
  • Do you have a both a financial and a medical Durable Power of Attorney?

Lastly, this service provides the opportunity to have your plan reviewed from a charitable perspective. Jason may be able to provide you with some options that accomplish your goals in ways that you may have never considered.

Contact Jason

Having a completed a Lifetime Plan for Giving gives you peace of mind knowing that your wishes for the gifts God has entrusted to you are fulfilled. This service is free to you and there is no sales process involved. To schedule a meeting with Jason, click the link below:

Schedule Now!

If you would like more information or would like to set up an appointment over the telephone, don’t hesitate to contact Jason. He can be reached at:
Phone: (970) 988-0305
Email: Jason.Jones@lfnd.org

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Avoiding Regret

Life in this world God created is full and rich, with multiple blessings and opportunities. That is terrific, but it also means that we never seem to complete everything we wish to complete. Sharing our faith with family, others at Church or in our communities should never end up on the regret list. We would rather give up a trip to the lake or our favorite concert than miss sharing the best news of all: that Jesus conquered sin, destroyed death and brought life forward with His resurrection and ours.

Myrna and Sid decided to not live in this regret. For a couple of months, they began thinking about their favorite Bible verses, the best moments of faith shared with family and friends and the hope to which they were focused as they prepared to finish their earthly lives. Then they each spent a week writing some thoughts down. They shared them with each other. They laughed. They wept. They hugged, thanking God for the richness of life. They then shared these statements of faith with their pastor, asking him to share them at their funerals someday. They printed off a copy for each child and grandchild and placed it in a card with a handwritten note to each one, with notes that they should be distributed when the Lord called them home. It took some time, but they really enjoyed this deliberate process. They knew that their lives were now deliberate testimonies of faith in Jesus. It all felt really good.

Your LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor can help you begin your process.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email Jason.Jones@lfnd.org.

Estate Planning is Not a Do-it-Yourself Task

Randy and Rachel recently purchased some furniture. Trouble is, it had to be assembled. Randy dug right in, but he was having trouble figuring out how to get it together. Rachel confronted him, saying, “Did you look at the instructions? It frustrates me that you can’t ever ask for help.” Hopefully God’s grace removed the offenses of that moment, but this story illustrates the fact that in life, we need help with things we can’t do ourselves.

If your air conditioner breaks, you hire someone to fix it because you must be trained and licensed to work with the coolant. If you have a tooth ache, you don’t use a pair of pliers to fix it yourself; you go to a dentist. One apprehension for people completing their estate plans is that they don’t want to be required to schedule appointments with attorneys, financial advisors or tax planners, nor pay the costs. But trying to put together estate plans without help is like Randy trying to build his furniture without instructions. Investing time and dollars in estate work is worth it to make sure things are completed correctly.

Your LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor can assist your interaction with these professionals. Your Gift Planning Counselor will never bill you for the time they work with you. You can work through the tough questions and highlight the work that needs to be done, so that when you appear in your professional’s office you are prepared and ready to be efficient and able to make decisions to move forward.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email Jason.Jones@lfnd.org.

Expiration Date

Helen was married for fifty-two years. Her husband, Ralph, was called home last year. This year, responding to her attorney, Helen finally made an appointment to review her will, which she had created twenty-five years ago with her husband. Before going to the attorney, Helen met with her LCMS Gift Planning Counselor to consider her charitable gifting plan. She was shocked to find gifts she planned from her estate long ago were no longer appropriate. One gift was to a women’s shelter sponsored by her congregation that closed last year. One was to support a specific missionary who had served in Asia for fifty years but had retired seven years ago. One gift was designated for a ministry that she had never heard about. She said to the Gift Planning Counselor, “I am not sure if I should put a plan in place again because it might get outdated.”

The counselor pointed out two things. The gift to the missionary had a definite expiration date to it. Every missionary’s service will come to an end at some time. A better gift would have designated the ministry that was placing the missionary. Beyond that, the counselor shared strategies that create a succession plan in case the selected ministries should cease to exist. He also emphasized that a ministry gifting plan is based on the best plan for that current moment in time. It requires regular review, at least every five years, to make sure that it is keeping up with changes. Her fears could be addressed by simply committing to this regular review. Helen felt better.

Your LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor can help you think through appropriate ministry gifts that are not as prone to having an expiration date. They can also regularly review your plan, making sure it is up to date. Now is a good day to start! Your LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor can highlight areas of decision and point you to the right professionals to help you write down a plan, all the while expressing your love for your family and your devotion to the Lord.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email Jason.Jones@lfnd.org.

Planning Ahead Brings Peace of Mind

Two years ago, Marie’s husband was called home to Jesus. Bud had always taken care of the financial matters: paying bills, investing and planning for the future. They had been married for seventy years. Now, Marie was feeling overwhelmed. The financial planner kept calling, asking her permission to change investment strategies. The life insurance company regularly had calling teams contacting her, asking if she wanted to add to her coverage. The local bank kept sending mail asking her if she wanted to refinance the mortgage. The senior living representative she and Bud had met four years ago kept asking if she was ready to move into assisted living. The burden of these decisions was overwhelming.

So, when her daughter asked her if she had reviewed her will lately, Marie became angry. “I just need everyone to leave me alone. Stop bugging me!”

It is wise to do good planning while both spouses are alive. It is even better to make sure that those plans are written down, detailing an organized, planned approach to caring for the financial gifts God has placed in your care. It is unwise to expect that children or other relatives will be able to jump in, without any prior involvement, to make the same kind of choices you have chosen all your life. They will lovingly do their part, but you may be asking them to carry out a difficult or impossible task. Planning can bring peace of mind. When a good plan is in place, seeking interaction with professional legal, financial or tax advisors can be seen as continuing that plan. Asking children to help will also be part of that continuance.

Now is a good day to start. Your LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor can highlight areas of decision and point you to the right professionals to help you write down a plan, all the while expressing your love for your family and your devotion to the Lord.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email Jason.Jones@lfnd.org.

Reviews Avoid Mistakes and Turmoil

Butch and Marie got married when they were nineteen. They were married for seventy years before the Lord called them home last year. When they were thirty-five, after having three children, they created their first estate plan with a will that established guardianship for their children and created a minor’s trust to provide for their children, providing for their needs until the youngest would reach the age of twenty-five. But their youngest child is now fifty-five and most of the provisions of their early plan are no longer needed.

Butch and Marie thought that they never needed to update that will. There was a problem with that. The original inheritance language from fifty-four years ago did not include the words “per stirpes”. That phrase means that a child’s inheritance will pass to their children if they die before receiving it. Two of Butch’s and Marie’s children passed away three years ago from illness. Each of them had three children. However, without the appropriate language, none of the inheritance will pass to those children (grandchildren of Butch and Marie). That would have crushed Butch and Marie had they known it happened. It also created some tension between some of the grandchildren.

All of this could have been avoided if Butch and Marie had reviewed their plan periodically through the years. It would have been worth the money to sit with an attorney. Your Gift Planning Counselor can encourage these regular checkups and make sure your gifting plans to family and ministry are clear.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email Jason.Jones@lfnd.org.

The Biggest Loser

Randy was somewhat of a hypochondriac throughout his life. His fear of catching a disease or getting cancer caused him to become a recluse in his house. He gave up gathering with family, attending Church or even taking a walk in the park. All of these things seemed like they posed danger to him. For decades, in pursuit of preserving his life, he was forfeiting the living of life. He had become the biggest loser.

As Christians we don’t live in such paralysis of fear, even though certain areas of our lives may reflect it still. Many people admit they avoid planning their estate because they are afraid if they talk about the end of their lives that talk will make it a reality. This is choosing to live in fear rather than faith. It is true that end of life planning does acknowledge there is an end coming, but it’s not really end of life. It’s just the end of current circumstances, for life lasts forever in Jesus, who conquered death by rising from the dead.

With that confidence we choose to use the legal tools of wills and trusts, constructed by our attorneys, to guide our affairs. But this process is more than just a legal transaction. It is an act of love, providing for family care. It is an act of love providing support for ministry so that countless more will hear the Gospel and come to faith in Jesus. Live in that faith and love. Express it in your plans. Your LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor can help.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email Jason.Jones@lfnd.org.

Changes of Estate Assets May Lead to Changes for Your Estate Plan

Fred and Marie are in their early 80s. They are in good health and decided to take a trip to celebrate their sixtieth anniversary. They rented a cabin in the Smokey Mountains. The cabin had a great deck on the east side, with a great valley below. They decided to get up before sunrise and to watch the morning sky come to life. As they sat, wrapped in a blanket, holding hands, sipping on coffee, watching the morning pastels splash across the sky, Fred whispered, “Who would have ever thought our lives would turn out like this? God has been good to us.”

The truth is, that no matter how much we plan, we always need to be willing to adjust those plans. We are not like God, who can see all of time in one glance. He has not imparted to us His same omniscience to know everything. As a result, with all the twists and turns of life, we must be willing to periodically analyze our plans and to align them with reality, in paths the Lord has chosen for us.

That is true about our estate planning work as well. An estate plan is not a “one and done” proposition. It keeps evolving through life. Some convictions we had in youth are still present in old age. But some things change. We want to make sure that our legal and financial goals set out in wills, trusts and beneficiary designations align with the reality of life as God has shown it to be today. Reviewing our plans gives us the joy of counting past blessings and looking forward with faith to avenues of grace to which our Heavenly Father is leading us. Is it time to do some reflecting?

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email Jason.Jones@lfnd.org.

Changes of Estate Assets May Lead to Changes for Your Estate Plan

Imagine that Herb and Edith are core members of their congregation. They have raised three children in the faith, as those children attended the Lutheran school. Now six of their seven grandchildren are attending that same Lutheran school.

Herb is a retired plumber. Together with Edith they ran their own plumbing business. The Lord blessed them with success. Five years ago they sold the business to someone else. The business maintains its original name and all the clientele passed to the new owner. When they sold it, it netted them $800,000, in addition to the $2 million they have saved in their retirement account.

Ten years earlier they had created an estate plan with their attorney. That was before they sold their business. At the time, they had created a $20,000 gift to ministry as a “tithe” of what would pass through their will. They had not even considered making a gift from the leftovers of their IRA when the Lord calls them home. They put the $800,000 into an investment account and now it is worth $1.4 million. At the end of their earthly life they expect there will be over $2 million of assets remaining, and the investment account and IRA have their children receiving 100% of these assets through beneficiary designation.

In recent months, motivated by their thankfulness for the ministry of their home congregation and a desire to see its ministry continue long into the future, they have reconsidered their plan for gifting. They are wondering how to calculate the size of the ministry gift coming from their will. They are also wanting to add to it with disbursements from their investments and IRA. They are wondering which fund from which they should chose and how to fill out the beneficiary designation forms correctly. They want to make a $500,000 gift to their church for the sake of scholarships for the school. Much to their surprise, each of their children will receive $500,000 as well.

In a situation like this, your LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor can help to cut through the clutter and to illustrate options, looking to optimize tax savings as well. They can coordinate work with your professionals, attorney, tax advisor and financial advisor.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email Jason.Jones@lfnd.org.

A Great Plan

George and Betty were with friends last Friday, playing cards. During the evening, one of the couples began talking about the estate plans they had just put together. They bragged about the 120-page living trust their attorney had given them, saying, “With a document that long we must have a really great plan.”

Betty asked, “So tell me about what is in your plan. Does it meet your family goals? Does it include a gift to support the ministry of our congregation that we all love?” The couple sat very quiet for an uncomfortable pause. Finally they said, “We really don’t know, but we have a great plan.”

The “plan” is the culmination of a lot of thinking and putting together goals that you want to accomplish. Those broad goals are the focus well before you ever dig into the intricate details of a full, complete estate plan. Without that planning, your “plan” will be empty. With planning, you will express your faith and look to bless others with the blessings God has blessed you. That is the simple core. All the details build on that.

Have you thought about your core values?

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email Jason.Jones@lfnd.org.

Best Blest

Who will be best blessed by gifts from my estate someday?

Have you ever been asked to participate in a Christmas gift collection drive, to give gifts to a cause that someone else will distribute? Chances are, you will never directly meet the people receiving the gift. While there is no arguing with the value of these gifts, it can feel like something is missing. The giving can become more of a transaction or a checkmark rather than heart-felt, warm giving of God’s good things. If you are participating in one of these collections this year, go on websites, read literature, volunteer, striving to become heart-connected to the giving.

Estate gifts given without heart-connection rob the giver of the joy God means for us to enjoy in the giving. Instead of leaving estate gifts to family to be discovered when the will is read someday, gather your family together and openly share with them the blessings you hope these future gifts will bring.

Think also of the gifts you plan to give to ministry. Don’t wait for the ministry to find out about the gift until your will is read. Set up a meeting to discuss your gift with the pastor or executive leader and talk about what you hope the gift will accomplish in ministry. Ask for that ministry leader to pray with you about this gift.

With some work and careful planning and communication, you can bring the joy of giving into your life as you disperse God’s gifts to the family you love and the ministries you care about the most.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email Jason.Jones@lfnd.org.