Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Legacy Planning Using Life Insurance


"If only I knew, I would have done this sooner."

It’s a statement we often hear. Everyone knows you can name a spouse or child as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy. You may not know that you can also name a charitable organization such as your church or other United Methodist institution or agency beneficiary and help further its ministry.

A gift of life insurance is a wonderful way to support Methodist causes at a significant level, but at a fraction of the cost of other gifts. The following are the options for gifts of life insurance and the specific tax benefits:

A gift of your policy

If you own a life insurance policy that is no longer needed for its intended purpose, a gift of life insurance can provide immediate benefits for you. If you decide to make a gift of your policy today, you will receive an income tax deduction.

Annual gifts to pay premiums

A further option is to make annual gifts that can be used to pay the premiums on a life insurance policy. You will receive an income tax deduction for each year you make a gift.

Naming a Methodist cause as a beneficiary

If you are like many people, you may not yet know if your life insurance policy will be needed and you would like to preserve your options. Another idea to consider is maintaining your existing life insurance policy during your lifetime and naming a Methodist cause as a beneficiary. Your insurance company can provide you with a change of beneficiary form that will permit you to name a Methodist cause as the sole beneficiary or as the beneficiary of a percentage of the policy proceeds.

Creating a new policy

If you don’t currently own a life insurance policy and wish to help further the church’s ministry, you can create a new policy, name the ministry as sole beneficiary and give ownership of the policy to it. You will receive an income tax deduction for your gift. Term life insurance premiums can be surprisingly low, especially if it is a two-life policy. If the policy is not paid up, you can send a donation for the amount of the premium each year and receive an annual income tax deduction for each of your gifts, as well.

If you would like to learn more about how you can create a legacy using life insurance, please contact David Battles at 800-259-6863 or dbattles@okumf.org.


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