Member Stories


Pictured left to right
Craig Stirtz, Former President – Lutheran Planned Giving Services, NE and Mike Jones, Director of Major Gifts – Lutheran Family Services, NE

Michael & Faye Jones began their estate planning fifteen years ago.  They met with an attorney but were frustrated with his lack of knowledge about charitable options for their planning.  Having heard estate planning seminars at his employer, Dana College, Mike knew there were more options than he was being offered.  Mike had referred many Dana donors to Lutheran Planned Giving Services and finally decided this was a resource for them as well.

“Working with Lutheran Planned Giving Services and Keith Nelson (LPGS President at that time) made everything much easier,” Mike shares.  “We knew who we wanted to remember in our will but didn’t know how.  Within an hour and a half, we were well on our way to completing our plan.”  A couple of weeks later the Joneses were reviewing options and selecting their plan.  “We received everything we needed to take to the attorney,” said Mike.

“What I like about LPGS planning,” said Mike, “is that they cover so much more than your financial assets.  They cover durable powers of attorney, guardians, trustees and how to express your faith through a Christian Preamble.”  The Joneses really liked the idea of adopting charity as a child.  Having been blessed with two children, Mark & Eva, they decided to divide their estate into thirds with the final third going to 8 charities.  Among their favorite ministries are Lutheran Family Services (Mikes current employer), Dana College and First Lutheran Church in Blair.  “Seeing the charities, that have impacted our family, continue in their mission to serve others is very important to us,” Mike said.

In the past 15 years, Mike has referred over 100 donors to LPGS for assistance.  “People who have worked with LPGS tell me it was a simple process and they now have peace of mind knowing they have taken care of their loved ones and are able to help so many great causes,” reports Mike.  “And the greatest thing is that the help is free!”

Taking his own advice once again, the Joneses will continue to meet with LPGS to update their plan as needed.  “The Nebraska Synod is very blessed to have a program like Lutheran Planned Giving Services that has helped people with planning for 35 years!  What it really comes down to is taking the time to get it done,” Mike concluded.