Ed and Betsy Pearce met as juniors at Wheaton College. Five decades after their 1964 graduation, the couple lives in Winfield, Illinois, a short drive from their alma mater, which makes it easy for them to attend class reunions and other campus events. As parents of three Wheaton graduates (Kristine Pearce Nelson’90, Steven Pearce’93, and Kathleen Pearce Brown’99), Ed and Betsy know the value of a Wheaton education and the importance of student scholarships.
Providing for family and supporting Christian ministries were both priorities for the Pearces, so when the couple started thinking about estate planning, they contacted Wheaton for a free estate analysis. The customized report laid out secular and charitable options for achieving their goals. Equipped with these strategies, they set up a testamentary charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT) that will be funded by an IRA at their deaths, creating an income stream for their family members and eventually benefiting Wheaton and other ministries. They chose Wheaton College Trust Company to serve as trustee of their CRUT, ensuring that it will be efficiently stewarded by the team that manages Wheaton’s endowment.
“For us, estate planning was something that was easy to put off—it was something we could always do ‘next year’!” Ed says. “We had established goals of provision for our children, grandchildren, and Christian ministries, while limiting taxation as much as possible, but had little idea on how to proceed. Wheaton’s estate analysis service allowed us to see a variety of options in print prior to meeting with our own attorney.
“The CRUT was selected to provide for our family, Wheaton College, and other ministries beyond our lifetime, while limiting estate and income taxes on our qualified retirement funds. We looked at Wheaton College Trust Company’s administrative history and were convinced that it was as good as or better than what secular banks had to offer. We enjoyed our time working with Wheaton’s staff. They were accessible and helpful in every way. After the process, we consider them good friends.”
Ed and Betsy are grateful for Wheaton’s influence in their lives and the role it continues to play in the world. “Wheaton was very important during our college days in teaching us to apply our faith in life’s many and varied circumstances. We have been very impressed by and pleased with the consistent evangelical influence of Wheaton and its students. We are thankful to play a small part in the programs of Wheaton College.”