Christian Estate Planning Seminar

Trinity Lutheran Church is pleased to host a Christian Estate Planning Seminar on two Saturdays: in English on February 9, 2019 and a Chinese version on March 30, 2019.  The seminar will run from 9am to 12 noon on both dates.  The presenter is Allen Schellenberg, Executive Director and Gift Coordinator of  Lutheran Foundation Canada.  Although pre-registration is not required, please add your name to the sign-up list (or contact the church office), so we may determine the number of people attending.

Topics include:

-   A Christian perspective to Estate Planning

-   Power of Attorney - which type do you need?

-   Health Care Directive - letting family know your wishes

-   Making a “Christian Will” (a witness to your faith)

-   Asset transfer upon death (Letter of Direction)

-   Executor issues - cost, common problems, helpful aids

-   Funeral considerations (let your wishes be known)

-   Does your estate plan reveal what you’re passionate about?

-   Estate and Probate tax - what's taxed and what isn't?

-   Canada Revenue Agency - your un-named beneficiary!

-   Planned Giving - gifting thru use of tax reduction strategies

-   Congregational Gift Acceptance and Use Policy

-   Common “errors” seen in wills

-   How can Lutheran Foundation Canada assist you?

If you’re thinking, “I already have a Will, I don’t need to go.”, keep reading!


Generally, a will covers the very basic questions related to asset distribution, leaving countless other unanswered questions. This seminar reviews other documents, available at no charge, that address the many unanswered questions.  Is yours a Christian Will?  What about a “Living Will” or health care directive? Do you have a Power of Attorney, is one needed, and what kind?  What funeral plans could, or should you make in advance?  If you were to die today, how easy would it be for someone to gather all your relevant documents regarding home, bank accounts, investments, insurance, etc.?  For those with a difficult family dynamic, are there ways to mitigate anticipated problems before they occur?  What are the greatest challenges faced by executors when settling a person’s estate?   The issues covered in this seminar are particularly applicable for those with young children, seniors, and individuals named as estate executors.

Isn’t it ironic that for many people, the largest reported income in their entire life will be on the terminal tax return submitted on their behalf in the year they die?  Canada Revenue Agency considers there’s been a deemed disposition of our assets on the day prior to our death (to determine income tax owed) and considers these assets according to CRA guidelines on our final tax return. Given this, most estates are sufficiently large enough, so portions of the estate may be taxed at 38%, based on Alberta's marginal tax rates on earned income.  As Christians we are encouraged to be good stewards of our estate: by having a Will, by considering the changing needs of our heirs, and by supporting the ministry of the church, as we’ve done throughout our entire lifetime.  A donation from your estate can offset high tax liabilities, with only a marginal impact to your overall estate value, and as such, should be considered as part of a Christian’s overall estate plan.  A greater knowledge of these issues will assist you in asking the right questions and getting sound recommendations from your professional financial advisors.

Without exception, those who attend this seminar are always thankful they did, many often attending a second time when I return to their congregation three years later.  I encourage you to prayerfully consider your own estate plan, using this opportunity to confirm the plans you’ve already made, or to learn of additional options for consideration. For those who have not completed a plan, this seminar will give you the knowledge you need to move forward using a structured and systematic approach and simplifying the task ahead.  I hope to see you there!