Planned Giving

Life Insurance

Life Insurance Story – Laurence Leopold ’86:
Laurence Leopold ’86, a resident of Atlanta, recently made St. John’s School a 25% beneficiary of his whole life policy. Since Laurence was a “Lifer,” St. John’s was the only school experience he had known. Now, many years later, he is incredibly grateful for this exceptional experience and takes pride in his 13 years here. Single and without children, Laurence has reserved a portion of the policy for family and godchildren and says it “just makes sense to leave St. John’s the rest. After 13 years there, why wouldn’t I?” Laurence found the process easy, as well. Adding a beneficiary of his policy only took him a few moments, and he was able to do it online, and at no cost.

St. John’s was a certainly a family affair. Prior to their passing, his parents and brother all supported the School. Laurence sees a gift of life insurance proceeds as a way to honor and continue the legacy of his brother’s and parents’ love of St. John’s and as a means of amplifying his giving beyond what he might otherwise be able to do in an outright gift. Laurence hopes that his gift will one day create a scholarship that will enhance accessibility to deserving students and allow them to receive the same benefits he did here at St. John’s.
Life Insurance – How it works:
Designating St. John’s as a full or partial beneficiary of a life insurance policy is easy. Donors can download a “change of beneficiary” form from their insurance company’s website, insert St. John’s School for whatever percentage of the final benefit they would like, and send the form back to the company. Unlike creating a bequest, changing a beneficiary is a five-minute process with no cost.
An outright gift of a life insurance policy is another way donors can use life insurance to make a planned gift. In this case, the donor designates St. John’s School as the owner of the policy, again through a free “change of ownership” form, also available on most insurance websites. For an outright gift of the policy, the donor receives a tax deduction for roughly the cash value, although the donor will need to secure an independent appraisal to substantiate the deduction. In addition, the asset is removed from the estate for estate tax savings, if applicable.