Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

LSTC >> Alumni & Friends >> Giving >> Ways to give >> Estate & Planned Gifts

“To have an effective church, we need an educated clergy”

George and Sandra Meslow had done careful financial planning before George retired from his ministry as parish pastor and later CEO of Martin Luther Homes in Nebraska. However, they recently became aware of one portion of their income that they had overlooked: the residual of their Board of Pensions retirement fund. “We hadn’t really thought about what would happen to that money after our deaths,” Sandra said. “Since the pension account accumulated because of our work in the church, it makes sense that it will be given to a ministry of the church.”

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Estate & Planned Gifts

What do you want your legacy to be? Many individuals and families have chosen to shape the future of the church through an estate or planned gift to LSTC. Here are some of the ways to make a large impact on LSTC through your gift:

Outright Gifts

Planned gifts don’t have to be complicated. Cash or in-kind gifts to the seminary generate tax advantages for you and to support the seminary. Outright gifts can be cash, property, business holdings or appreciated securities (stock holdings).

Bequest in Will or Trust

By including a provision for a bequest to LSTC in your will or trust, you will make a significant gift to ministry without reducing your current income.

Beneficiary Designations

You may designate LSTC as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, retirement account or other investments you may have. Changing or adding a beneficiary is free, and only requires you to fill out a simple form that you may request from your insurance or investment company. You may make beneficiary designations on a retirement account, life insurance policy, and non-charitable (commercially purchased) annuities. If you have designated LSTC as a beneficiary on one of your assets, please contact Jessica Houston at

Lifetime Income Gifts

With a life income gift, you can receive tax benefits and provide an income stream for your family and, ultimately, a charitable gift to LSTC.  These options can leverage your assets by allowing your funds to be invested and to grow before they pass to LSTC.  Life income gifts include:

  • Charitable Gift Annuity (provides you with a fixed income for life)
  • Charitable Lead Trust (makes payments to LSTC for a fixed number of years after your death, and the remainder is given to your family)
  • Charitable Remainder Trust (makes payments to your family for a fixed number of years after your death, and the remainder is given to LSTC)


For more information on how to determine the right form of planned gift for you and your family, contact Mark Van Scharrel, Vice President for Advancement,, or 773-256-0676.

Page last modified Mar 24, 2016