Estate Planning & Review Sessions with Thompson & Associates

A complimentary service offered to friends of St. Dominic’s Foundation.

As a service to our friends and supporters, St. Dominic’s Foundation offers confidential and comprehensive estate planning services at no cost and with no obligation. Utilizing the planning resources available through Thompson & Associates, one of the nation’s leaders in estate planning, our consultant Paul Grassmann will personally guide you through a thorough and thoughtful process to help structure your estate plans according to your wishes.

If you already have an estate plan, Paul can provide an unbiased second opinion about your options. An estate plan is never “final” until its creator can no longer change it. Changes in assets, interests, family situations and tax laws necessitate regular reviews and updates to ensure that your plan addresses your priorities.

For more information about the process, or to schedule an appointment with Paul, we invite you to contact Kay McRee, Executive Director, or Sister Dorothea Sondgeroth, Associate Executive Director, at St. Dominic’s Foundation by calling (601) 200-6910 or emailing [email protected].

Paul Grassmann, JD, LL.M., FCEP
Vice President

Paul Grassmann is Vice President with Thompson & Associates and an advisor to the St. Dominic Health Services Foundation. He is devoted to helping individuals plan their estate to meet their personal objectives. Paul has a LL.M. (Master of Laws) in Estate Planning, a doctorate in Juris Prudence and has achieved the distinction of Fellow in Charitable Estate Planning.

An Estate Plan at No Cost to You!

For over thirty years, the Thompson & Associates team has helped individuals and families plan to pass their estate assets to their family and to the organizations they support in a manner consistent with their values and objectives. Their unique process combines the knowledge of professionals with vast and varied experience to produce personalized plans.

A Personalized Estate Plan

A representative of Thompson & Associates guides individuals and families through a detailed estate planning process. The goal is to create a thoughtful estate plan (or review an existing estate plan) that transfers assets to loved ones in a way that is tailored to fit their individual personalities and needs, while redirecting social capital (typically collected as taxes) to support the nonprofit community.

Some may simply want unbiased advice on a gifting or planning strategy they are contemplating. Thompson & Associates provides confidential planning advice for people who have specific questions about any aspect of their estate, including gifting opportunities.

Free and Confidential Service

You never pay for this service. Thompson & Associates is held on retainer by St. Dominic’s to offer these services free of charge to our friends and supporters.

Thompson & Associates respects the confidential nature of your conversations. All of your personal information will be held in the strictest confidence, and will not be shared with anyone without your direction.

The Plan is YOURS!!!

You are encouraged to share your decisions with the nonprofits you are supporting as a way of encouraging them as they work for the good of the community. Your decisions about which nonprofits to support, if any, are entirely yours. Also, you are encouraged to share your decisions with family members as a way of teaching philanthropic principles.

Time Allocated for Thoughtful Consideration

The planning process of Thompson & Associates allows you to take the time needed to thoughtfully develop and consider your legacy and estate plan wishes and options. Typically, there are 6-8 monthly meetings. But, because each family is unique, the precise schedule may vary depending upon the level of complexity and individual circumstance. What’s important is your timing. Thompson & Associates will take whatever time is needed to make sure your questions are answered and the expected outcomes are in accordance with your wishes.

You may be saying, “this just sounds too good to be true. Why would anyone offer estate planning services at no charge?” We all live in this community. We all contribute to the greater good of the community in our own ways. Just as our supporters enjoy helping us achieve our goals of serving the community, we wanted to share a very valuable gift with you.

Most likely, you have many questions. Hopefully, those questions can be answered here, but if not, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

How much does this cost?

Absolutely nothing. Thompson & Associates is held on retainer by the nonprofit to provide you independent and unbiased advice. If your planning leads to the drafting and execution of estate planning instruments by your professional advisors (like your attorney), you will be responsible for those fees.

What is Thompson & Associates trying to sell me?

Nothing! You will never pay Thompson & Associates anything – directly or indirectly. Their services are a gift to you. Thompson & Associates does not benefit from their recommendations. You will use your own professional advisors, including your attorney, your insurance agent, and your financial planner to implement your plan. Thompson & Associates does not receive a commission or fee of any kind besides the retainer fee that St. Dominic’s pays.

Do I have to make a gift to St. Dominic’s or other nonprofits?

No! St. Dominic’s is offering the planning services of Thompson & Associates without any obligation on your part. We obviously hope that if you choose to leave a portion of your estate to charitable organizations, you will remember St. Dominic’s, but you are not required to make a gift to benefit from the services. In fact, Thompson & Associates will never ask you for a gift.

Can I give to other organizations besides St. Dominic’s?

Absolutely. We know that you probably support several organizations. We hope the planning process with Thompson & Associates will help you formulate a plan to give to all the organizations you care about.

Will St. Dominic’s or other nonprofits know the things I share with Thompson & Associates?

No. Your meetings and conversations with Thompson & Associates and the results of the planning process are strictly confidential. Thompson & Associates will only share your information at your request.

Will this planning process take away assets from my heirs?

No. The planning process begins with you stating your planning objectives. Thompson & Associates then leads you through a process of showing you ways to accomplish those objectives. You will decide how much to leave your heirs.

Can my attorney be involved in the planning process?

Yes. Thompson & Associates will lead you through a planning process, but your professional advisors are very important in making sure your plan is best for you. While the attorneys typically do not sit through the meetings with you, they will be advised and asked to contribute to the plan (if you consent, of course). Most plans conclude with estate planning documents which will be drafted by your attorney.

How long does the planning process take?

The typical planning process lasts six to nine months. Our Thompson & Associates’ Representative will be onsite at St. Dominic’s once every month to meet with you and guide you through the process. Much of the planning time is spent exploring your options to help perfect your plan.

What are the final results of the planning process?

What you receive from the planning process depends largely on what you need. You may need a knowledgeable person to brainstorm ideas, get confirmation you are heading in the right direction, or need a complete plan. Whatever your situation, you will walk away from the planning process knowing exactly what you have, what you want to do with your assets after you are gone, and have an executed estate plan (by your own advisors) to accomplish your objectives.

Why would St. Dominic’s offer these services for free?

We know that our supporters want to help us fulfill our mission. We also know that if our supporters have not named St. Dominic’s in their estate plan, there is no chance we will benefit from our supporters’ estates after they are gone. Maybe not everyone will want to leave St. Dominic’s in their estate plan; but, some will want to if they simply knew how to do it.

What should I bring to my first meeting with Thompson & Associates?

Nothing! Your first meeting with Thompson & Associates will be an informal get-to-know-you meeting. Our Thompson & Associates’ Representative will give you a detailed explanation of the planning process and then give you the option to proceed or not. You will have several documents to complete and return in preparation for your second visit.

Who else has benefitted from this process?

Contact the Foundation to discuss others who have gone through the planning process and are willing to talk to you about it.

How do I get started?

Contact Jim Jeter or Sister Dorothea Sondgeroth at the Foundation to schedule your confidential appointment with our Thompson & Associates’ Representative by calling (601) 200-6910 or emailing [email protected]

A Wealthy Retired Couple Plan Their Estate

The total value of Everett & Charlotte’s home, investments, and retirement accounts is over $5,000,000. While they focused on saving and investing, they have not focused on transferring their assets to their heirs and the organizations they support. Their current Wills are over 10 years old and simply leave everything to each other and then to their kids. They realized that everything they owned belongs to God – they were simply stewards of those assets. They wanted to create a plan which left a nice inheritance to their children: enough to supplement their lifestyles, but not so much as to diminish their initiative. They also wanted to make sure they remembered their ministries with their planning. They didn’t like the idea of paying any more tax than they have already paid through the years.

Everett and Charlotte considered what type of inheritance would be best for each of their heirs. They also considered which organizations they would like to benefit from their assets after they are gone. They decided to create a Will which left a generous gift to each of their two children, $1,000,000 to each. Anything in their estate above that amount will be split: 75% will be left to the foundation at their church and 25% will be left to the local hospital. The assets going to the foundation at their church will be designated to foreign ministry and local benevolence, the two areas the Welches have been very involved during their lives. As an added bonus for Everett and Charlotte, their estate will not lose anything to taxes.

Retired Couple with Modest Assets

Frank and Patsy Team live on a fixed income from Frank’s pension and social security. They own their home, have a modest savings account, and own several CD’s which also provide a little extra income. Frank and Patsy never considered themselves wealthy, so they never thought seriously about needing a Will. However, they realized that they want to have a say in how those assets will pass after they are gone. Without a Will, the distribution of their home, savings account, and CD’s would be controlled by the laws of their state, and other organizations they support will not benefit from their assets.

The Teams would like to leave a nice inheritance to their three children, but they admit their kids are much better off financially than they ever were. They decided to leave half of their assets to their children and half to other organizations.

Frank and Patsy executed Wills which leave half of their assets to their three children equally. Their Wills leave the other half of their assets to a local foundation. They also signed a Donor Advised Fund agreement at the foundation to designate any money the foundation received from the Teams to directly support inner-city work, a cause Frank and Patsy dedicate many hours to each week. Frank and Patsy also executed health care documents and a power of attorney.

Now they can be assured that even though their assets are modest in amount, they will be directed to family and organziations that they love.

Couple Looking Forward to Retirement

Joe and Cora Ballard are in their 60’s with three adult children. They are looking forward to retiring in about three years. Joe and Cora live a relatively modest lifestyle, choosing instead to save as much as possible in their retirement accounts. Recently, in the process of refinancing their house, they completed a financial statement. To their surprise, over half of their net worth was in their retirement accounts.

The Ballard’s do not have any health problems, so they have not thought they really needed a Will. Not that they feel invincible, they just have not thought seriously about dying. But earlier in the year, Joe’s mother died, and they started feeling guilty about not planning better for their children and grandchildren. They want to make sure that their children have as little trouble as possible when they do eventually pass away.

While the Ballard’s want to provide for their children, they also want to provide for others. They have always given away at least ten percent of whatever they earned to their church and to other nonprofit organizations. They decided they wanted to also give part of their assets.

Joe and Cora had Wills drafted which leave everything to each other first, and then, at the death of the second spouse, to their children equally. Since their retirement accounts can pass tax-free to nonprofit organizations, including churches, the Ballard’s will use these accounts to make their gifts. On the beneficiary designation form on each account, they make sure their spouse is the primary beneficiary. The contingent, or secondary, beneficiary is divided into fifths: one-fifth to each child, one-fifth to their church, and one-fifth to the university where they both graduated.

Young Couple with 2 Children & Insurance

Jake and Emily Colvett recently celebrated their ten-year anniversary with the birth of their second child. Life in the Colvett household is now very busy with two children under 3 years of age. Until the birth of their second, Jake and Emily have been focused on their career. Now, having young children depend on them and their support has forced them to plan for the future.

Jake and Emily want to make sure that their children will be placed in a loving and supportive home if something tragically happens to them while the kids are young. Not wanting to cause a financial burden on the new household, the Colvett’s want to make sure they provide assets to help raise the children. While they give to their church and a few local nonprofits, they want to first make sure their two children are taken care of before they would consider leaving something elsewhere.

Jake and Emily executed Wills which leave everything to the surviving spouse. At the death of the second spouse, a trust is created for the benefit of their daughter and son. The trust assets could be used for the childrens’ health, education, and living expenses. At age 25, each child will receive one-third of the assets in their trust. At age 30, they will receive another one-third, and they will receive the rest at age 35. The Colvett’s like the staggered distribution pattern to allow the children time to mature and learn. They also like having a trusted person serve as the childrens’ trustee, a sort of financial advisor, to help them grow and learn.

In addition to their Wills, they named who would be the guardians of their children if the need ever arises. They also executed health care documents and a power of attorney.

To make sure the family could survive financially if one spouse should pass away, both Jake and Emily purchased a life insurance policy. They worked with a life insurance professional to choose a policy with adequate coverage. Because of the amount of coverage they decided to purchase, the Colvett’s realized they could provide substantially for their kids and still leave some to their church and the nonprofit organizations they support. So, on the beneficiary designation form of the life insurance policies, the primary beneficiary of each policy is the surviving spouse. The contingent, or secondary, beneficiaries were their church for a specific amount, the nonprofit organizations for a specific amount, and the remainder to the trust created in their Wills for their children.

Leaving Gifts for Loved Ones

“My estate was such a mess before you helped me. You helped me understand how to leave gifts for the loved ones that I wanted to help and also give to my charitable interests as well.”
– Don, after signing his estate planning documents

Comments After the Process

“Without your help, we would not have updated our Will. We knew we wanted to leave something to charity, but we didn’t know how to go about getting it done or what our options were. You helped us do something with our estate that we are proud of and we are still helping our kids like we had in mind as well.”
– Steve and Barbara, after completing the planning process

Help During Time of Uncertainty

“Thanks for your professional and personal help during this time of uncertainty and insecurity – and the support of all your staff.”
– Juanita, upon completion of the charitable estate planning process

A Burden Lifted

“It is just a great feeling to have this burden lifted. You guys were just what we needed.”
– Jesse, after executing a new Will

If you would like more information on how Thompson & Associates can help you tailor your estate plan to achieve your goals please contact the Foundation by calling (601) 200-6910 or emailing [email protected].