Articles

Church newsletter and website articles on planned and estate giving

Do you want to include information on planned and estate giving in your church newsletter or on the website? Choose from the following:

  • Is it time to update your will?

    • Many significant things can happen in a year.  Consider reviewing your will or estate plan every few years. Below are several life changes and other noteworthy reasons to update your will or estate plan.
    • You give birth to or adopt a child
    • Your children reach adulthood
    • You inherit or are given “new” assets
    • The needs of your beneficiaries change
    • You give away or sell assets mentioned in your current will
    • Significant change in your assets’ value
    • Marriage
    • Purchase or sale of real estate
    • Relocation
    • A named beneficiary dies
    • Death, relocation, or disabled executor or trustee
    • Death of a spouse
    • Divorce
    • You wish to make a gift to your church or a United Methodist cause
  • No better time than now

    Many people are reluctant to write a will, or even discuss one. However, those who do are always glad they did.  A well-written plan is never about life without us, it only affirms the life within us.

    When we write a will, we tell the world what is important to us. A will affirms our hopes, dreams and protects our loved ones and cherished causes.

    Take a moment this winter to enjoy all the season has to offer.  But also let it serve as a reminder to call your attorney about writing your will, or ask if it needs updating. In the meantime, think about your values, your beliefs and the family members and charitable causes most likely to share these values with you.

    The Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation is an estate and legacy planning resource.  Visit their website at www.okumf.org and request your copy of A Christian’s Guide to Planning Your Will or Trust.  The guide and the online videos will help you move through the process if creating a will.  Planning and providing for your loved ones can be an uplifting and positive experience.  Please contact the Foundation if you have any questions or need additional information, 800-259-6863.

  • First steps lead to lasting impressions

    Overcoming your fears can be the hardest part of creating a will

    Many people are intimidated by the prospect of creating a will, but preparing a will is as simple as writing a letter.  A well-written will is nothing more and nothing less than a statement of what is important to you.  The most complicated part of preparing a will is simply taking the first step – deciding to do it.

    Whether you are creating a will for the first time or revising it for the fifth time, you should use an attorney.  Most attorneys charge relatively little for this service.  They are experienced in writing wills and can walk you through the process.  The Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation’s A Christian’s Guide to Planning Your Will or Trust can help you with the information needed for your will.  Once completed, your will can benefit your family, friends, church and other charitable causes important to you.

    Certain states have very specific requirements regarding wills. Many require witnesses and other formalities to make sure your will is authentic and reflects your wishes.  Miss one of these requirements and your will may be invalid.  If you hire an attorney who regularly drafts wills, he or she can help you with all of these basic requirements and suggest new ideas to make things even easier.

    Take a moment today to consult your attorney.  If you do not have an attorney, ask your friends and neighbors who they used to write their wills.  You will probably spend far less than you think and receive far more peace of mind than you thought possible.

  • Land gifts seeded with financial potential

    Varieties of property that make good gifts

    Wise property owners know that nurture is part of ownership. Owning property can be hard work.

    Maybe it is time for your property to work hard for you. No matter what type of property you own, it may hold great potential.

    Vacant lots can be full of possibilities. Property you bought years ago may be highly prized by a developer who is building or planning to build just around the corner. Possible benefits from its sale include capital gains tax bypass and, most importantly, income for life for you.

    Do you own office space, storefronts, or other commercial space that you rent to others? Maybe your long-term tenant can be a near-term buyer. With the assistance of the Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation, you can sell some of the property and transfer the remainder to a special kind of trust. Together, this “sale and unitrust” plan can help you bypass capital gains tax, especially if you have depreciated the property, and generate cash and income for your life.

    If you operate a family business and plan to retire but do not know how to pass the land to your family, a charitable gift annuity might be a good solution for you. You receive payments by exchanging the land for a gift annuity. Your children are permitted to purchase the land at fair market value from the Foundation.

    No matter what type of property you own, you can make it work for you. Do not let the tax advantages of doing something special with your property get away from you.

    Call the Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation at 800-259-6863, or visit them on the web at www.okumf.org to see how the Foundation can help you harvest the fruit of your land.

  • The 1-2-3s of selling your land

    Many people lose thousands of dollars when they transfer property, because they fail to take advantage of the available tax benefits.

    The transfer process can seem intimidating, even frightening, but it does not have to be. Consider involving a charity organization such as the Foundation in the transfer of property. There are strong advantages in taking such a step. With the right professionals on your side, your property can be put to work for you in ways that may be unknown to you.

    Your choice to include United Methodist causes can mean more support for your church or favorite ministry’s mission and more money in your pocket.

    Here are some points to consider.

    • Never sell any of your land without investigating charitable opportunities. Once the property is sold, there are fewer choices available.
    • While you may have a buyer “waiting in the wings,” it is important to not make any agreement to sell (oral, written, or understood) until you speak with your attorney.
    • Almost all property transactions involve a deed, which is a document filed with the county clerk’s office, showing who owns the property and how he or she owns it. A trust arrangement may also be involved. Either way, your attorney can walk you through the steps to make this less complicated.
    • Almost all transfers or sale of property (especially farmland) need to be appraised. The Foundation can help you find qualified appraisers or other experts to help establish the value of your land, as well as identify any environmental issues.

    Call the Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation at 800-259-6863, or visit them on the web at www.okumf.org.

  • Making a gift without missing a thing

    Often when we make a gift to a friend, relative, or special cause, we have to give something up.  When we shop, we must pay for our purchase.  When we take someone out to eat, we must pay the bill.  But, did you know you can make a big difference while not giving anything away – at least not anything you would miss?

    Have you considered including a provision for a United Methodist cause in your will or estate plan.  You can use this method to establish an endowment fund to benefit your local church or favorite United Methodist ministry, and the effect can be tremendous.

    Everyone should have a will and update it regularly.  If you do not have a will, make an appointment with your attorney to draft one.  If you have one, call your attorney and ask if it needs updating.  Drafting or revising an estate plan is surprisingly simple.

    Perhaps the best part of including a gift in your will is knowing you have secured a legacy matching your life’s goals.  You will be remembered for the good you did and impact you made.

    Contact David Battles at the Foundation for more information on establishing an endowment fund for your church through your will.

  • No better time than now

    Many people are reluctant to write a will, or even discuss one. However, a well-written plan is never about life without us, it only affirms the life within us.

    When we write a will, we tell the world what is important to us. A will affirms our hopes, dreams and protects our loved ones and cherished causes.

    Take a moment to enjoy all this season has to offer.  But also let it serve as a reminder to call your attorney about writing your will, or ask if it needs updating. In the meantime, think about your values, your beliefs and the family members and charitable causes most likely to share these values with you.

    The Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation is an estate and legacy planning resource.  Visit their website at www.okumf.org and request your copy of A Christian’s Guide to Planning Your Will or Trust.  The guide and the online videos will help you move through the process if creating a will.  Planning and providing for your loved ones can be an uplifting and positive experience.  Please contact the Foundation if you have any questions or need additional information, 800-259-6863.

  • Wishes can come true

    Planning ahead for the future is crucial

    The ultimate form of communicating our wishes for the future is our will or trust.  Throughout history, people have used wills to fulfill and sustain their wishes.  When we fail to have a will, we miss a wonderful opportunity to share our wishes with our family, friends, church and the causes important to us.

    Without a will, the state tries to determine what our wishes are and tries to act on them – often at a great expense to the estate.  The state does not always get it right; those important to us may miss out on all we planned for them.

    Take a moment to consider your legacy.  Do not let the state decide what you would have done.  A well-written plan reflects your intentions to your family, friends, church and favorite charities.

  • Our Church can last – forever?

    Endowment programs for United Methodist churches across Oklahoma are chartered to provide members and friends opportunities to make lasting charitable gifts.  These gifts will become permanent financial support and a living memorial. 

    Many endowment programs are intended for purposes that are not part of established programs funded through the annual operating budget.

    Your gifts to your church’s endowment fund push the mission of your church far into the future.  Through your gifts, you can leave a lasting legacy of your life, or that of a parent, child or other loved one, while at the same time helping to endow the ministries of your United Methodist church, ministry or institution.

    Gifts to your church’s endowment program can be designated by you to fund a specific ministry or left undesignated to meet future needs.  Through your generosity, your church’s ministry of service can secure the future for tomorrow’s youth and adults.

    To learn more about how to start or promote your church’s permanent endowment fund, contact the Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation at 800-259-6863, or visit them on the web at www.okumf.org.

  • Outlining the story of your life

    Have you ever thought about what things you would quickly gather if there was a fire, tornado or other emergency? If yes, then you have already done many of the things that are important in making an estate plan.  In reality, an estate plan is nothing more and nothing less than a listing of what you have (or expect to have) and what you want done. It is arranging for the things you have to go to the people or organizations you want to have them.

    Once you have made the decision to have a will (or update the one you already have), call the Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation at 800-259-6863 and ask for a free Christian’s Guide to Planning Your Will or Trust.

    Writing your plan is easy, especially when compared with the cost and trouble of trying to determine your wishes when you are not here to explain them. Writing a will with the guide and your attorney is so easy that you will be glad you did, and so will those you care about.

    Have you considered including a provision for a United Methodist cause in your will or estate plan.  You can use this method to establish an endowment fund to benefit your local church or favorite United Methodist ministry, and the effect can be tremendous.

    Perhaps the best part of including a gift in your will is knowing you have secured a legacy matching your life’s goals.  You will be remembered for the good you did and impact you made.

  • One simple act. Many great results.

    The next time you are in line at the post office, bank or movie theater, consider this: only one in three people around you has a will. As you ponder the people in line with you, it does not matter how rich, poor, young or old they may be. The simple fact is that most people in this country do not have a legally binding will or estate plan.

    Wills and the reasons why people write them, or fail to write them, are legendary. In one of the most famous cases, a judge ruled Howard Hughes died without a will and his $2.5 billion estate was split among 22 relatives, even though one person claimed to have found Hughes’ will on a church desk, and another said the will was found in a Nevada gas station.

    Take time to talk with your family and your advisors about what is important to you and what passions, ideals and good works you want to continue beyond your lifetime. It is a great opportunity to let your family and cherished causes know just how important they are to you.

    If you need help finding an attorney or want more information, the Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation is an estate and legacy planning resource for the Oklahoma United Methodist Church.  Visit their website at www.okumf.org and request your copy of A Christian’s Guide to Planning Your Will or Trust.  The guide and the online videos will help you move through the process if creating a will.  Planning and providing for your loved ones can be an uplifting and positive experience.  Please contact the Foundation if you have any questions or need additional information, 800-259-6863.

  • How to make a gift without missing a thing

    Often when we make a gift to a friend, relative, or our church, we have to give something up.  When we shop, we must pay for our purchase.  When we take someone to eat, we must pay the bill.  Did you know you can make a big difference for the ministry of our church and for yourself, and not give anything away – at least not anything you would miss?  You can include a gift in your will to benefit our church or your favorite ministry with a few simple words. The effect can be tremendous.

    Everyone should have a will.  Those with a will should update it regularly.  If you don’t have a will, make an appointment with your attorney to draft one.  If you have one, call your attorney and ask if it needs updating. Drafting or revising an estate plan is surprisingly simple and almost everyone who does is glad they did.

    Perhaps the best part of including a gift in your will is that you can live every day knowing you have secured a legacy that matches your life’s goals.  You will be remembered for the good you did and for the impact you made on the future.

    To learn more about how to include the church in your will or estate plan, contact the Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation at 800-259-6863, or visit them on the web at www.okumf.org.