• Planned Giving For Any Age

    Carolanne and James Bilitz FamilyMany people put off the practice of estate planning and gifting until they retire or even later. But many financial planners encourage starting much sooner. Two people who took that advice to heart are Wisconsin Lutheran College alumni Jim Bilitz '91, and his wife Carolanne (Laich) '93.

    "When we set up our living will, we learned about ways to gift from our estate," says Jim, a production manager at Aldrich Chemical in Milwaukee. "We had also received information from WLC about the Ella Post Society and thought it would be great to give something back to the institution that has given us so much."

    Both Jim and Carolanne believe it is important to support WLC financially, to ensure it continues far into the future.

    "The cost of higher education has outpaced inflation and there's no indication to say that trend will not continue," says Jim. "Despite this, WLC thrived and become known as a high-quality college, yet it still remains cost competitive. It is nearly impossible to maintain that without strong financial backing."

    Although they are only in their 30s, Jim and Carolanne made the time to plan for the future. They entered into estate planning mainly to make sure their children would be cared for, should anything happen, yet there were additional reasons says Jim. "We wanted to make sure our assets were used for things that are important to us—especially continuing the Lord's work, whether that be through the church directly or through the Lutheran schools we attended."

    "It is an awesome feeling to know that we can continue to contribute to the Lord's work monetarily even after we are no longer living on this earth."

    To find out more about planning for the future like Jim and Carolanne, contact Richard Mannisto '94 at 414.443.8788 or richard.mannisto@wlc.edu">email him, a WELS planned giving counselor or your financial advisor.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Wisconsin Lutheran College a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Wisconsin Lutheran College, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 8800 W. Bluemound Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to WLC or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the gift tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to WLC as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to WLC as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and WLC where you agree to make a gift to WLC and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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