Planned Giving

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Family Shares Values with Donor Advised Fund

Ekstrand FamilyA single word steered one family's decision to set up a donor advised fund with WCI: Share.

It's a word that reflects the approach to living, stewardship and community that Rick and Tammie Ekstrand and their family take. And it's why they established the Ekstrand Family Donor Advised Fund.

The notion of giving back to their community and region is nothing new for the Ekstrands, who live in Lowry. But in 2008, the sale of Rural Cellular Corp., which Rick had founded and where he served as President, presented an opportunity to formalize giving through WCI, which Rick had been involved with at various times. They set up a distinctive family endeavor with Kim Embretson's help.

The family meets twice a year to decide which local activities and programs they'd like to help support. Every family member--Rick, wife Tammie and grown children Dacia Reichmann, Bria Shea and Joshua Ekstrand--takes part in the decisions. "It's very rewarding. We do it mostly because it's fun to do good," he says. He adds that he and Tammie want to share their values with their children, while also learning what the children value.

"You can say whatever you want, but actions speak louder than words. By having my kids and grandchildren at least aware of it and how it works, they have a better idea of what stewardship is," Rick says.

"If you are fortunate to have, there are also many who don't have. Part of the deal is that it's your responsibility to give back. That comes in a lot of forms, and this is the form we chose. I feel very grateful that we can do it," he explains.

WCI Makes it Easy
WCI makes things simple by doing the paperwork, Rick says. "We send our request to WCI, they cut the check to the entity, and send those checks back to us." Then the family member closest to the activity sends a note or letter to the recipient, along with the check, explaining who gave the donation and why.

Examples of activities to which the Ekstrands have donated are the Jingle Bells event in Alexandria, which provides families in need with a complete Christmas delivered to their home. They've contributed to the area's animal Humane Society and to the summer Waterama celebration in Glenwood, in which the whole family has been involved.

They also give to United Way, to a giving tree in a Glenwood church and to several school programs, including scholarships for graduating high school seniors.

The Minnewaska Laker Foundation, which provides support for junior and senior high student activities, is another recipient--it's near and dear to Rick's heart, as he serves on the board.

The Ekstrand family is committed to keeping donations local to help their rural area. Being able to say "I'm part of that" means a great deal to every family member, Rick says.

Giving at Any Level
Rick encourages other families to set up a similar fund. "You do not have to have a great deal of abundance to set up a fund. WCI is very efficient about using the money and distributing it."

What is key, he says, is appreciating the feeling of giving--the old adage that it is more blessed to give than to receive. "If you believe in it, and you're doing the right thing for people, the amount isn't important."

Rick emphasizes that sharing through stewardship in any quantity makes a difference, because it adds up in people's lives. "The best thing about giving and stewardship is that it's all in proportion to what you have," he says. "Somebody who gives a hundred dollars has the same benefits as someone who gives a million bucks, if that's what their means allow."

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to West Central Initiative a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to West Central Initiative, a nonprofit corporation currently located at PO Box 318, Fergus Falls, MN 56538-0318, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to WCI or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to WCI as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to WCI as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and WCI where you agree to make a gift to WCI and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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