After raising cattle for 30 years Charles ’56 and Naoma ’54 Henkelmann knew it was time to sell some of their 250 acres of land, but they discovered it made more sense to give the land as a gift to Union College.
Managing 250 acres is not an easy task. Add in the responsibility of caring for a herd of cattle and you end up working a lot of very long days. When Charlie had worked enough of those long days and decided it was time to retire, he knew he would have to part with at least some of his land. He also knew he would need a steady stream of income, one that would be guaranteed and worry free.
Over the years Charlie and Naoma maintained a close connection to Union College and felt the need to give back to the college they loved; especially since Naoma had received a scholarship which allowed her to attend and graduate from Union. “We wanted to establish two
scholarships; one to help nursing students and one to help music majors,” Charlie said.
Charlie had heard about charitable gift annuities and thought setting one up would be the perfect solution for them. But Charlie quickly realized that if he sold his land to fund a charitable gift annuity, they would be left with a hefty tax bill.
The Henkelmanns hoped to downsize their ranch, receive a steady stream of income, endow two separate scholarships, and avoid paying a lot in taxes.
Were they asking too much?
After talking with the development staff at Union College, Charlie realized he could have everything he was asking for and more by setting up a charitable remainder unitrust.
With the help of Union’s development staff and Charlie’s attorney, the Henkelmanns established a charitable remainder unitrust which allowed them to gift their land to Union College, who then sold the property and paid Charlie and Naoma (now deceased) a quarterly distribution ever since.
“I really like the quarterly payments,” Charlie said, “I don’t have to think about the income; it just comes on its own.”
The added bonus to this gift is Charlie could now focus his time on serving the Lord, “Now I can involve myself in volunteer mission projects with Maranatha and the local City Mission,” Charlie said. Plus, it provides a level of comfort and peace of mind that he wouldn’t have otherwise. “I don’t lay awake nights checking the stock market.”
In the end it will be the students at Union who benefit from the trust. Upon Charlie’s death, the remaining balance in their trust will go to Union College to further fund the Henkelmanns’ two scholarships.
He liked the charitable remainder unitrust so much Charlie set up another one the following year and gave Union a second piece of property. “The Lord has been my real estate agent,” Charlie exclaimed, “It saves on commission!”
Charlie believes others could benefit like he has from giving back to Union College. “If people have some extra farmland or property, just give it away and get some income,” Charlie said.
If you would like to take Charlie’s advice, please call Scot Coppock in the Union College office of Advancement at 402.486.2503 or email him at sccoppoc [at] ucollege.edu. Scot will help you evaluate your situation and see if Union College can make your wishes become reality as well.