Planned Giving and Trust Services
T he goal of Planned Giving and Trust Services is to provide information to assist members in using such gift-planning documents as wills, revocable trusts, charitable remainder trusts, charitable gift annuities, powers of attorney, and health-care directives that will provide and protect family members.
During the past two years the department has developed a digital presence through www.willplan.org and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sdawillplan/info. Visitors to our Web site can secure information through videos, stories, and e-newsletters; and can download English and Spanish informational documents. A donor calculator is available for citizens subject to United States tax laws.
Individuals who have done their research often wish to speak with a person knowledgeable in the documents referenced above. Individuals are assigned in nearly every conference to meet with interested members and discuss potential gift-giving goals. This department has provided certification classes to many of these individuals. More than 300 individuals have attended the training classes, with some advancing their knowledge by attending California State University, Long Beach, to earn the Certified Specialist in Planned Giving designation issued by the American Institute for Philanthropic Studies.
It’s About Stewardship
Planned giving is an extension of a lifetime of stewarding God’s blessings to the mission and ministry of the gospel. The principle of planned giving recognizes God as owner of all . As His stewards, gift plans are made in life and developed for the final disposition of assets entrusted to His stewards. The department has visited every division since the 2010 General Conference session. We see evidence of how God has blessed through the stories of attendees to our meetings.
We seek to be stewards and secure support for our church’s mission through planned giving. Some members think of this department as only for people with wealth. Quite often attendees to our seminars ask: “Do you have to be rich to use Planned Giving and Trust Services?”
This department isn’t just for the wealthy, and it isn’t just for seniors. Our seminars show members how they can use legal documents in their country to provide protection during life and provisions at the conclusion of life. We discuss changing needs in building financial security, protecting loved ones, and sustaining the causes they love. The experiences we share help clarify present issues in their lives as well as issues that may come up in the future. We accomplish these goals by making use of appropriate legal documents that will provide and protect family members.
Our trained department representatives are mindful of 1 Timothy 5:8: “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”Providing for relatives and immediate family includes finances. Biblical counsel also involves planning your estate disposition, having guardianship documents in place, and remembering that you’re the steward of all the assets placed in your trust no matter the size.
Ellen White wrote: “Wills should be made in a manner to stand the test of law. After they are drawn they may remain for years and do no harm, if donations continue to be made from time to time as the cause has need. Death will not come one day sooner, brethren, because you have made your will.”*
“One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed” (Prov. 11:24, 25).
*Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1948), vol. 4, p. 482.