Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Three Simple Ways to Give


Recently I had a conversation with an individual who wanted to leave a legacy gift to his church. However, he had recently completed his trust and did not want to make any changes to it. He asked me if there was an alternative way to accomplish his goals without changing his trust.

There are three very simple ways to give to your church or favorite Methodist cause outside of your will or trust.

Retirement Plan Assets

Making a Methodist ministry a beneficiary of your retirement plan assets is a very easy way to make a legacy gift that provides tax benefits. There are various ways that you can make the designation. You might set up a separate IRA; designate a percentage of your IRA or a contingent beneficiary of your IRA. Your plan administrator can assist you.

Life Insurance

Do you have an "old" life insurance policy? This would be a policy that you obtained years ago to provide for your minor children who are now in their 40s or 50s. If the policy is paid up, you can designate a Methodist ministry the owner and beneficiary. This will provide some current income tax benefit. You can also designate your favorite ministry the beneficiary of a current life insurance policy along with your spouse and/or children. Many have set up life insurance policies that benefit Methodist ministries and are currently paying the policy premium. By making the Methodist ministry the owner and beneficiary, your current premium payments will be considered a charitable contribution. Contact your life insurance agent for assistance.

Payable-on-Death Accounts

Payable-on-death accounts offer an easy way to make a legacy gift. They are easy to create. There is no limit on how much you can leave this way. Designating a Methodist ministry beneficiary costs nothing. It is easy for the ministry to receive the gift after the original owner dies. And, best of all, you are still in control during your lifetime!


The Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation can assist you in accomplishing your ultimate goal using these three methods. Please contact David Battles, CPA, at 800-259-6863 or dbattles@okumf.org.


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