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.