As followers of Christ, we have the opportunity to fuel the mission of Hope through estate planning. Estate planning is sometimes referred to as “planned giving” or “deferred giving.” The objectives of estate planning are to:


As Christians, our interest in estate planning goes beyond efforts to save or reduce taxes, although this is one legitimate objective. An important part of our lives is that we are provided opportunities for making gifts to Kingdom causes. Your gift through thoughtful estate planning can continue to support Hope and our mission of offering experiences, relationships and places where people can find life and purpose through Jesus Christ.

There are several legacy giving arrangements that will help you express your heart for Christ, maximize your personal benefits, and accomplish your charitable giving goals. Each legacy giving arrangement can be structured to suit your individual situation.

Will – a gift to Hope Church may be made in your will.

Lifetime Gift – a gift where the donor receives a lifetime benefit, such as a charitable gift annuity.

Outright Gift – a gift which benefits the donor with income tax savings for the current year, such as cash, real estate, stock or life insurance.

If you would like to know more about legacy giving through any of these vehicles, Melinda Lestyan, Hope’s Stewardship and Development Coordinator would be happy to help you.

You can reach Melinda by phone at 804-708-5330 Ext 119 or email at mlestyan@nullhopecentral.com

Planned Giving Frequently Asked Questions

What is planned giving?

Planned giving is the process of giving to a charity or church when you die by specifying in your will or other means.

What does it mean to include Hope in my estate plan?

Hope Church would be the recipient of a portion of your estate when you die.

Do I need a will to include Hope in my estate plan?

A will is the best way to include Hope in your estate plan.  There are other ways to do this such as naming Hope as a beneficiary on and account such as an IRA or insurance policy.  You can designate “POD Hope Church” bank accounts.  The POD means Pay On death.  On brokerage account you can designate “TOD Hope Church” The TOD means Transfer On Death.

Do I need to update my entire will to leave Hope a gift?

A codicil can be prepared to leave a gift to Hope without updating your entire will.

Do I need a lawyer to prepare the codicil?

It is best to us a lawyer to prepare the codicil so it will be accepted by the circuit court.

What are the requirements of a valid codicil?

It must be in writing, signed, dated, witnessed, and all signees notarized.

Can Hope give me legal advice on how to include it in my estate plan?

Hope cannot give legal advice to prepare wills or other estate documents.

Do I have to die to benefit Hope?

No there are other ways to benefit Hope you are alive.  See the examples listed below.

Does Hope recommend lawyers to prepare wills and other estate documents? 

Yes, Hope recommends you contact your attorney for the preparation of wills and other estate documents.

Is there a tax benefit of leaving a specific bequest/gift in my will to Hope?

Designating Hope POD or TOD, or naming Hope as beneficiary would allow assets to avoid probate and the related probate taxes. 

Should my spouse and I both name Hope in our wills?

Each spouse should have a will.  Both spouses can include gifts to Hope in their wills.  That is a decision that would be discussed between the spouses.

I have individual retirement accounts should I give them to my children or to Hope when I die?

If children are named beneficiaries on retirement accounts, they will have to pay taxes on those accounts when they take distributions.  Hope is tax exempt.  It will not pay taxes on distribution from retirement plans that name it as beneficiary.  It is often better to give cash and other property to the heirs and taxable assets to a tax exempt organization, such as Hope.

How can I give my IRA’s to Hope when I die?

Hope can be named as a beneficiary on your IRA accounts or other retirement accounts.  401(k) accounts would require a spouse to approve Hope being named as beneficiary.

Can I give some of my IRA to Hope and some to my family?

You can designate beneficiaries to receive set percent of your IRA to members of your family and to Hope.

I have IRA’s and am over 70 and ½:

  1. Can I give my minimum required distribution directly to Hope?
    1. Yes, you can request that part or all of your minimum required distribution be send directly to Hope.  The plan custodian would prepare the check made payable to Hope
  2. Do I get a charitable deduction for the distribution made directly to Hope from my IRA?
    1. You would not receive a charitable deduction but you would also not be taxed on the distribution.
  3. How does making the IRA distribution directly to Hope help me tax wise?
    1. Making the distribution directly to Hope would decrease your adjusted gross income. If you have other deductions such as medical may increase as a result.
  4. What is the most I can give directly from my IRA to Hope each year?
    1. You can give up to $100,000
  5. I heard this tax law provision expires every December unless extended, do I have to worry about that?
    1. Last year this provision became permanent.

Can I give assets other than cash to Hope?

Real estate, stocks and bonds, automobiles and all other assets can be donated to Hope either as part of your estate plan or while you are alive.

If I give stock, how does that affect my taxes?

If you donate stocks while you are alive, you would receive the deduction for the fair market value of the stock donated.  Often highly appreciated stocks are donated to avoid paying the capital gains tax on the appreciation and receiving the deduction for the donation.

What are ways I can give my assets to Hope if I don’t have a will?

You can designate account POD or TOD or name Hope as a beneficiary

What is POD or TOD?

POD means Pay On Death and is used to transfer most bank accounts at death.  TOD means Transfer On Death and used to transfer brokerage accounts at death.

How does a POD or TOD Designation work?

Your account can be designated simply by going to the bank branch and filling out the paperwork to set up the designation.  Your financial advisor or broker can assist designating brokerage accounts.