Three Ways to Include Sunset Senior Communities in Your Estate Plan

Jul 26, 2023 | Legacy Foundation

Estate plans are a wonderful way to protect the things that matter most. For many people, this pertains to their children, their home, and any other valuable assets. But did you know that you can include ministries that are close to your heart in your estate planning as well? Legacy gifts to Sunset Senior Communities are one way of supporting our mission of providing quality services to senior adults in the spirit of Christian love—a cause we humbly invite you to consider supporting in your estate plan.

Three Ways to Include Sunset Senior Communities in Your Estate Planning

Families looking to include Sunset Senior Communities in their legacy planning typically choose one of three giving models:

1. Tithe a Percentage of Your Estate

Many individuals allocate a certain percentage or tithe of their estate toward Sunset Senior Communities. A tithe of 10 percent to Kingdom causes is a very common option.

2. Name Sunset as a Beneficiary Alongside Children

Another planned giving option is to consider Sunset (or any other charity) as one of your children. Some families choose to add a “child named charity” to their wills. By this method, if a couple has four children, each of the children would receive 1/5 of their estate, and the remaining 1/5 could go towards their charity of choice.

3. Bequeath a Gift of Assets

People often designate gifts of assets in their legacy planning. Some people choose to bequeath assets such as real estate, business interests, retirement assets, machinery, or even personal collections as gifts to Sunset Senior Communities. There are a number of reasons why people choose this option, whether it’s because the property has special meaning, their children have no further use for it or because they wish to protect their families from unnecessary taxes.

Deciding How Much to Give Is Between You and a Trusted Advisor

There is no formula or “right” amount to leave to charity in your estate plan. If you’re having trouble deciding between a 10% tithe, equal distribution between Sunset and your children, or leaving an asset, it may be helpful to talk with a trusted advisor who can help you sort through your options and determine the best fit.

My wife Vicki and I recently went through the same process with our financial advisor. We took great care to ensure our daughters are in a place of certainty when it comes to our financial affairs after we’re gone. But more than that, we hope our estate plan will be a living testament to the things that we hold closest to our hearts—the causes of His kingdom that we hope will continue to flourish for future generations.

How Community Support Makes a Difference at Sunset

As you know, Sunset Senior Communities is a nonprofit organization. Donations from our local West Michigan community allow us to continue providing quality services for senior adults in the spirit of Christian love. This includes:

  • Resident benevolence, which enables seniors who have run out of funds (through no fault of their own) to remain in their homes at Sunset.
  • The Mary O’Hara Scholarship, which supports future nurses who support our mission and contributes to licensed nurses’ development.
  • Meals at Home, which delivers nutritious meals to community members in need.
  • Improving Sunset Senior Communities through long-term organizational health through programming and service growth.
  • Waterford Place Memory Care, a revolutionary program supporting those affected by memory loss.

Designating a cause in your estate plan or will ensure that the cause you care about can continue to thrive for generations to come.

Want to Discuss Planned Giving Options? We’d Love to Speak With You

Through Sunset Senior Communities partnership with the Barnabas Foundation, you have direct access to trusted planned giving support. At no cost to you, you can speak with a planner who will help you identify a plan that honors God, cares for your family, and supports your favorite ministries. Learn more by calling 616-214-4505 or email