The Gift of a Lifetime: Bequests

Lutheran Social Services has recently received funds from several estates of donors who wanted to leave a legacy of hope for those we serve. These funds are put into our Foundation, with the interest earned each year by the fund going to LSS programs to strengthen individuals, families and communities.

If you don’t have a plan for your estate, now is the time to make one! LSS staff can help you decide the best way to meet the needs of your family while leaving a legacy gift that will help LSS fulfill their mission for years to come. Step by step guides available on the Lutheran Planned Giving of South Dakota website will allow you to explore a variety of planned gift options to meet your needs and your goals. View your own personal Illustration to see the benefits of a plan for you.

A charitable bequest is one of the easiest ways you can leave a lasting impact on your favorite ministries. A bequest may be made in your will or trust directing a gift to LSS. There are several benefits to you with a bequest:

  • Receive an estate tax charitable deduction
  • Lessen the burden of taxes on your family
  • Leave a lasting legacy for LSS

A bequest is one of the simplest gifts to make. With the help of an advisor, you can include language in your will or trust specifying a gift to be made to family, friends, church, and LSS as part of your estate plan. A bequest may be made in several ways:

  • Gift of a percentage of your estate
  • Gift of a specific dollar amount or asset
  • Gift from the balance or residue of your estate

Here are some examples of bequest language;  please feel free to change the numbers or percentages as you desire.

  1. Bequest of cash: “I bequeath the sum of $10,000 to Lutheran Social Services of SD.”
  2. Bequest of a percent of the estate: “I devise and bequeath 20% of the remainder and residue of property owned at my death, whether real or personal, and wherever located to Lutheran Social Services of SD.”
  3. Contingent Bequest: “If my brother John Doe survives me, I devise and bequeath 20% of the remainder and residue of property owned at my death, whether real or personal, and wherever located to John Doe. If John Doe does not survive me, then I devise and bequeath 20% of my residuary estate, whether real or personal property and wherever located to Lutheran Social Services of SD.”

A retirement asset, such as an IRA account, also makes an excellent bequest to LSS. If the IRA were given to your family, much of the value may be lost through estate and income taxes. By designating LSS as the beneficiary of all or part of your IRA (using a beneficiary designation form provided by your custodian), the full value of the gift is transferred tax-free at your death and your estate receives an estate tax charitable deduction.

Please contact Linda Jensen at LSS if you are interested in setting up an appointment with LSS staff. There is no obligation when you schedule a visit!

Linda Jensen, LSS Development & Foundation
Church Relations and Planned Giving Development Officer
705 East 41st Street, Suite 200, Sioux Falls, SD  57105-6048
605-444-7536 direct, 800-568-2401 ext. 7536 toll free, 605-310-9865 cell
www.LssSD.org

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