Planned giving opportunities
An estate plan--the plan for long-term giving and giving after your death--is the best way to ensure that your personal and financial goals are achieved. And it is the best way to make sure that your estate will help the people you care about and the causes you support.
Planned giving offers the greatest opportunity for individuals to make their largest gift to an institution or cause. AMBS encourages you to create an estate plan and to include AMBS in your long-term giving.
Start with objectives
Effective estate plans are based on specific objectives—well thought out and carefully spelled out in writing. These should be reviewed at least every three years to make certain they still meet your needs and expectations.
Your will (or your living trust) should be considered the foundation of your estate plan. Your will accommodates the disposition of most of your assets, but not all of them. Some of your assets will be distributed independently of the provisions of your will. These assets may include property, which is jointly owned; some trust benefits; life insurance proceeds; individual retirement accounts; pension funds; other employee benefits; and outright lifetime gifts to family and charity.
All of these assets are an integral part of your estate plan. Management of these assets and the ultimate disposition of them should be coordinated carefully with the terms of your will or living trust(s).
Include charitable giving
Your basic estate plan should take into consideration the desirability and advantages of making gifts to charitable causes such as AMBS. Such gifts may be outright gifts during your lifetime and/or deferred gifts, which benefit the seminary fully after you (and perhaps others) pass away.
It is frequently to a person’s advantage to transfer cash, securities, real estate and other property to family members and charitable institutions, such as AMBS, while living rather than by will. These gifts can provide favorable income tax and estate tax benefits for you, the donor. In addition, you may enjoy the satisfaction derived from making the gift and watching the impact it has on the recipient.
Charitable giving reduces the tax impact on your estate and allows you to invest in organizations that extend your values in perpetuity.
You may make planned gifts in a number of ways. As always, your lawyer and other tax consultants or financial advisers should assist you in determining which avenue of giving is best for you and your family. We work in consultation with Mennonite Foundation, based in Goshen, Ind., and Mennonite Foundation of Canada, which serve as an important resources to us and also can serve you well.
Specific tools of planned giving vary by country and by state. AMBS encourages you to consult a financial adviser for details.
Ensure your goals are met
Taking the time to create an estate plan is the best way to ensure that your personal and financial goals are achieved for the benefit of your family and those charitable institutions important to you. The complexity and changing nature of tax laws require the assistance and expert counsel of a lawyer and perhaps other tax advisers.
Consult with advisers
As you make decisions for your estate plan, consult with your lawyer and with advisers at Mennonite Foundation or Mennonite Foundation of Canada.
The Planned Giving newsletter provides helpful information for donors as you make decisions about the financial blessings God has given you. Please feel free to contact a member of the development team if you have any questions.