- Written by Jason Jones, Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor Jason Jones, Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor
- Created: 16 January 2020 16 January 2020
“John Lutheran” (name changed) owned a successful business throughout his life. Now in retirement, he and his wife enjoy a comfortable life, affording plenty of time for John to play golf.
From time to time, John had heard about the Transfer the Blessings Gift Planning Ministry offered at his church. He had never utilized this free service because he had already completed his Estate Plan with his attorney. His Will stated that the bulk of his assets were to be left to his children and it also included a 25% gift from his estate to his congregation when the Lord calls him home to heaven.
John often shared this with his pastor. On one occasion John’s pastor recommended that he meet with the congregation’s gift planner to review his plan. John was reluctant to devote that kind of time to this work, feeling, that since it was already written in his will, his work was done.
John ultimately gave in and decided to meet with the gift planner. He was shocked by what he found out with the gift planners help. The vast majority of John’s assets would be transferred by “beneficiary designation” (Transfer on Death, TOD, Payable on Death, POD, etc …) and would never pass through his will. He had named family members as the beneficiary for these. What that meant was, that the 25% gift Bob had planned to gift all along would now amount to about $750. That’s not what he wanted. The gift planner helped John and his wife align the couple’s designations with their wishes. The couple was very grateful, and John was especially thankful that he eventually took the advice of his pastor to meet with the gift planner.
The point is that even though we may think that we have our charitable gifting work completed, a simple misalignment can unwind the entire plan. The Lord calls us to careful stewardship of His gifts throughout our lives. A good rule of thumb is to review the plan every five to seven years, to ensure it is still in place, rather than make an incorrect assumption. Is it time for that quick review for you?