LCMS Foundation

The LCMS Foundation was created in 1958 by the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod to provide Christian estate planning services to LCMS members and help ministries invest or endow the gifts members leave them in their wills or estate plans.

Butch and Marie got married when they were nineteen. They were married for seventy years before the Lord called them home last year. When they were thirty-five, after having three children, they had created their first estate plan with a will that established guardianship for their children and created a minor’s trust to provide for their children, providing for their needs until the youngest would reach the age of twenty-five. Their youngest child is now fifty-five and most of the provisions of their early plan no longer are needed.

Butch and Marie thought that they never needed to update that will. There was a problem with that. The original inheritance language from fifty-four years ago did not include the words “per stirpes.” That phrase means that a child’s inheritance will pass to their children if they die before receiving it. Two of Butch’s and Marie’s children passed away three years ago from illness. Each of them had three children. However, without the appropriate language, none of the inheritance will pass to those children (grandchildren of Butch and Marie). That would have crushed Butch and Marie had they known it happened. It also created some tension between some of the grandchildren.

All of this could have been avoided if Butch and Marie had reviewed their plan periodically through the years. It would have been worth the money to sit with an attorney.

Your LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor can help. Contact your Florida Gift Planning Counselor, Tony Hunt, CFRE cell 260-222-1291 or email

For more information about The LCMS Foundation visit their website at