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Ben was eighty years old. He was in great shape for his age. Until fifteen years ago he had worked very hard, establishing his own business. The Lord blessed that effort with great value in that business. Upon retirement, it was time for Ben to enjoy more recreation time. He lined up four different groups with whom to golf throughout the week. His wife and he loved to gather with family and friends. In their new busy schedule of retirement, there was little energy left to review their estate plan.

Many years ago, Ben and his wife had set up their wills to gift 25% of their assets, except for their house, to their congregation. Because they had already done this planning, they did not see a need to engage with the local LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor. Eventually, Ben agreed to meet with their Gift Planning Counselor to review the estate plan that he thought would carry out their wishes. He discovered all his financial accounts were directed by beneficiary designations to their son. Since their wills directed that their house be given to their son, and 100% of their financial accounts would be distributed through beneficiary designations, what was left was about $3,000 in the checking account that would be controlled by the gifting language of their will. This successful businessman was going to give a $750 gift to his church.

That was not what Ben wanted at all! This realization moved him to put down the golf clubs for one day to work on his plans. After items were updated, Ben commented that he was really at peace knowing that their plan was secure and in place. He rejoiced in the gift that would be going to ministry.

Are you like Ben and his wife? Is it time for a review of your plans? Your LCMS 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, call (970) 988-0305 or email .