Skip to Content

Gift Planning

Couple Turns Life Insurance Policy Into a Generous Gift

Michael and Susan Sheets

Michael and Susan Sheets

Michael and Susan Sheets of Wichita, Kansas, recently found an affordable way to give back to Unity —and to create a lasting legacy. Although they've given to Unity in time as well as financially over the past 22 years, they wanted to do more.

"I remember hearing James Dillet Freeman [former Silent Unity Director] say once that the only reason for Unity's existence is that people need it," Michael says. "And that's the bottom line—people need Unity. It was there for us when we needed it, and we want Unity to grow and prosper and be available for any one who needs it."

Michael and Susan learned from talking to their insurance provider that they could convert a million-dollar term-life insurance policy into a whole-life policy payable to Unity.

"We pay the premiums every year, but Unity owns the policy," Michael explains. "We claim a charitable tax deduction in the amount of the premium each year. Then, when Susan and I die, Unity will get a million dollars."

Michael and Susan are thrilled to be able to leave such a large amount to Unity. The couple turned to Unity in 1989, when they were facing challenges. They found peace and comfort in reading DailyWord magazine, and eventually started attending Unity of Wichita.

Their first trip to Unity Village was in 1989 for the celebration of Unity's Centennial. "It was a really electrifying event," Michael said. "We met people who were going through similar things as we were. It was a great healing experience."

Since then, they've contributed to the movement in many ways. Michael has served on Unity's Board of Directors for the past three years. Both Susan and Michael participate in Nehemiah Retreats, spending a week volunteering at Unity Village helping to restore the campus. Michael has attended 11 and Susan has attended 10 of the 12 Nehemiah Retreats, which started in 2008.

As for their giving to Unity, Michael and Susan see it as one way to return the favor. "We really receive so much more than we give," Michael said.

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Unity School of Christianity 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

The official legal bequest language for Unity School of Christianity is: "I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Unity School Of Christianity, 1901 NW Blue Parkway, Unity Village, MO 64065, Federal Tax ID#: 44-0546000, [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 Unity 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 Unity 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 Unity 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 Unity where you agree to make a gift to Unity 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.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.