Hutchinson Family Creates an Estate Plan

Andy and Jenny Hutchinson believe in tithing to their church and giving back to their community. With the help of the Kansas Methodist Foundation’s estate planning services, Andy and Jenny created an estate plan in which they can ensure their family will be provided for and their desire to give to their church and other causes important to them will be honored.

“There is a tremendous relief that if we were to pass on unexpectedly, either together or separately, there’s generally a clear plan on what needs to happen,” Andy said. “It makes it easier for our kids once we are gone. It’s one less thing they have to worry about.”

Schultes Update Estate Plan to Give Charitably and Protect Family

Because they were raised in the church and it is in their hearts to follow God’s word, Steve and Teresa Schulte believe giving charitably is something they are called to do. While recently helping to settle her uncle’s estate, they saw the need to revisit their own plans for the future to ensure their charitable desires would be met and they would take care of their family.

“We wanted to have a plan for our kids and our grandchildren that would persevere,” Teresa said. “We also wanted to give to our church, the Methodist church, as well as some other organizations near and dear to our hearts. When we initially set up our trust documents in 1999, it was in essence an ‘in case of emergency plan’ to protect our children should something happen to both of us.”

However, as they reflected on the plan they previously created, they knew that due to changes in life, such as now having grandchildren and their increased ability to give charitably, their estate plan no longer reflected their current desires.

Through a conversation with Kansas Methodist Foundation President Dustin Petz following his presentation at Stilwell United Methodist Church, Steve and Teresa became aware of the estate planning and charitable giving services provided by the Foundation.

“It’s like a community foundation, but it has the Wesleyan tie to it; it just made sense,” Steve said. “With the help of John Griffin, an estate planning attorney with Stewardship Counseling, LLC, whose service is provided by the Foundation, I thought, ‘This is too good to be true’ and we absolutely wanted to take advantage of it.”

With the assistance of John, Steve and Teresa worked on a complete restatement of their trust. “Estate plans are very personal, and John took a lot of time to listen and educate us to help clarify what we really wanted,” Steve said.

“It was definitely not just a template, which I feel like we might have gotten had we gone directly to the attorney,” Teresa said. “I think the nuances he helped us get into our document were very important to both of us.”

In the restatement, it was important to the Schultes to include a charitable giving component as well as to create a special trust that will provide for their children and grandchildren.

“We chose to give ten percent to the Foundation for charitable purposes,” Steve said. “We also felt like it was important that our children have some say in that charitable giving. It’s nice that we can pass along generationally the charitable idea of being benevolent.”

Because of the way the Foundation has established the legacy gifting program, their children will be able to direct a portion of the charitable asset throughout their lifetimes. The Schultes appreciate the flexibility the Kansas Methodist Foundation provides for their charitable giving during their lifetime and into perpetuity. Since the gift to the Foundation is named in their estate plan, they have the latitude to change the charitable recipients of their fund at the Foundation without going back to their attorney and updating their documents.

“I would much more likely give my money to the Foundation because I believe they will be good and faithful stewards of our gift lasting into perpetuity,” Steve said.

Reverend Lance and Kristi Carrithers

Throughout their marriage, Rev. Lance and Kristi Carrithers discussed the need to create an estate plan, but were anxious about the cost. In 2008, when presented with an opportunity to meet with John Griffin, an estate planning attorney with Stewardship Counseling LLC, they decided to take action and create their plan. 

During their meetings with John, the Carrithers were guided through decisions on their health care and finances.
By having these decision made, they knew that their desires will occur in the event of their death or incapacity. 

“John helped us understand each decision that we needed to make along the way,” Lance said. “His process allowed us time to really discuss and make decisions with which we were comfortable. Since we weren’t paying an attorney an hourly rate to educate us and answer our questions, we felt like we could get all of our questions answered and not rush through the process out of a concern for the cost.”

One estate planning service provided by the Foundation is meeting with John Griffin, free of charge.

Ten years later the Carrithers knew it was past time to revisit the plan they created. Since they had worked with John Griffin previously, it made sense to them to meet with him again. This time to review and update their plan. 

“In reviewing our plan, the best part was the opportunity to update our estate’s charitable giving to better reflect our current wishes,” Lance said. “Kristi and I couldn’t recommend John Griffin more highly to anyone who needs an initial estate plan, or anyone who has one but has not had it reviewed within the past five years.”

In their updated plan, they chose the Kansas Area United Methodist Foundation to care for a portion of their estate resources. After their plan was finalized with John Griffin and their drafting attorney, the Foundation helped the Carrithers create a way to disperse the charitable gift over a period of time.  They chose the Foundation due to the connection to the United Methodist Church, its institutions and agencies in Kansas that are important to their family. In addition, through the Foundation the Carrithers could designate their heirs to make charitable giving decisions on their behalf to a variety of organizations that are important to their family. 

Through making an agreement with the Foundation, families can choose multiple 501(c)3 organizations to receive a distribution from their fund.  In addition, the agreement can be updated, at any time, without returning to the attorney. Through this, families can rest assured that their estate gift will be well managed by the Foundation and they can leave a legacy gift to organizations that impacted their life. 

The Kansas Area United Methodist Foundation offers the services of John Griffin, free of charge, to donors and friends. For more information on the Foundation's estate planning services, click here. If you or a loved one are interested in creating or updating your estate plan, please click here to let us know or contact our office via email at or via phone at 620-664-9623.

Don and Brenda Davids

As a police officer and a pastor, Don and Brenda Davids know how quickly life can
change, but they did not have a trust or a will in place. After planning a series of stewardship
seminars for her church that focused on personal stewardship and estate planning, the Davids
planned their estate as a testament to their congregation of the importance.
Through a complementary service of the Kansas Area United Methodist Foundation, the Davids met with John Griffin, an attorney with Stewardship Counseling, LLC to create their plan.

Over the course of a few meetings, the Davids worked with John to make decisions on their healthcare, end of life, and estate that will later relieve their family of the burden of wondering their wishes.

“It was a painless process that caused us to discuss all of the implications of our health, living well into our old age, and our deaths,” Brenda said.

When they started the process the Davids were unsure if they would draft a will or a trust. John presented the pros and cons of each and Estate Planning for an Assured Future allowed Don and Brenda to decide which was best. Throughout the process, the Davids appreciated that John provided the “why’s”, explained the language in a trust, and guided their discussion with open-ended language so that the documents created would be as timeless as possible. After creating their plan, John recommend a cost-effective attorney who drafted their final documents.

“It is the greatest act of stewardship to take care of these decisions for each other and for our children,” Brenda said.

With their trust in place, the Davids know that their earnestness to leave a portion of their estate to the ministries of Christian based camping will occur and their legacy will live on through the camp.

The Foundation offers estate planning services to individuals and families, like the Davids, so that they can leave a lasting legacy to the organizations and ministries close to their heart. If you have questions or are interested in creating or updating your estate documents, please contact us at 888-453-8405 or

Eby Family Gives Generously through their Donor Advised Fund

Inspired by the generosity of his family and looking for a way to give charitably, Charles and Jean Eby chose the Kansas Methodist Foundation to care for their donor advised fund.

Charlie looked for options to steward his giving and was aware of his local community foundation when he learned about the Kansas Methodist Foundation.

“I did a little vetting and I just felt more comfortable with the Methodist foundation,” Charlie said. “I thought it was well run and it would do what I wanted to accomplish through giving. I’m a Methodist so it is really comfortable to be doing it this way.”

To accomplish his charitable giving goals, Charlie uses a donor advised fund. He views this fund like a charitable bank account that supports the organizations he desires to impact through his giving. When Charlie is ready to support his church, Wichita First United Methodist Church, or another nonprofit, he makes a recommendation to KMF to make a gift from the fund. Upon approval, the gift is sent to the designated organization in his name.

“The donor advised fund allows us to do what we wanted to do in the first place,” Charlie said. “It’s not limited to only Methodist organizations…and it was important to me it not be limited only to the church. Certainly we give a large portion to the church, but it does go to other organizations that I believe are doing good work.”

Although a regular supporter of his church, Charlie is also passionate about many ministries and organizations. He loves Habitat for Humanity, has been involved with the United Methodist Open Door for a long time, and, as a former big brother, he desires to support Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

Another advantage Charlie appreciates about his donor advised fund is the ability to keep his giving consistent each year. To fund his charitable giving, Charlie donates appreciated stock to KMF to be sold and the proceeds placed in his donor advised fund.

“In years things are good, we can put more into the account,” Charlie said. “When it’s not seven fat cows and we get seven skinny cows, we don’t put as much in. We’ve kept a reservoir of cash that allows us to try to keep a consistent gift to people like the church. The church is going to need the money every year so if we can keep our giving relatively the same it’s more predictable and makes life easier for the organizations.”

Through their generosity, Charles and Jean make an impact for their church and numerous other organizations each year.

“I just feel like when you’ve been blessed, you should pass it on,” Charlie said. “We have been blessed so I really want to give.”