Even Families with Young Children Benefit from the Exercise of Estate Planning
With three young sons busy about the house, it’s no surprise to find children’s films on the shelves in the Frohling family’s living room. When Krista Frohling ’95 opens up the wooden cabinet encasing the television, however, she displays a completely different kind of video: lectures on philosophy, literature, history and economics by well-known scholars. Chris Frohling ’92 collects and watches the series to keep his mind active. “I discovered a love of learning at Westmont, and I want to continue that throughout my life,” he says.
Chris also belongs to a book group with fellow Westmont alumni and friends at church to read serious works such as “The Republic” by Plato and books by G.K. Chesterton. His face lights up as he talks about the importance of these activities in his life. At one time he thought about becoming a college professor, and he appreciates an outlet for his intellectual interests.
His other favorite pastime is surfing with his brother, Brad ’94. He has started to teach his oldest son the finer points of catching waves and spends as much time as he can with the three boys, who are 7, 4 and 2.
A double major in philosophy and economics and business, Chris works as the controller for Penfield & Smith, a civil engineering firm based in Santa Barbara. He spent a year as the director of finance and information technology at the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission and also served for two years as the controller for a start-up telecommunications company that grew from 10 to 60 employees in six months. Although it’s a far cry from philosophy, Chris enjoys his work and has become a certified management accountant. “It’s satisfying to keep things in order,” he says.
“We made such amazing friends at Westmont,” Chris says. “I can’t believe two of them are now on the faculty: Carter Crockett and Steve Julio.” Chris has become more involved in the college in recent years, speaking to classes and meeting with students interested in networking and career advice.
Krista worked at Westmont for several years as the director of the annual fund until she gave birth to their oldest son. She stays home with the boys and does a few hours of accounting for private clients each week. As a family, they are very involved at Santa Barbara Community Church.
The first person in her family to attend college, Krista depended on scholarships as well as help from alumni and family friends to afford the cost of tuition. “I thought Westmont would be a good place to grow up,” she says. “I knew I wouldn’t get lost there like I might at a big, impersonal university.”
The assistance Krista received inspires the Frohlings to be faithful supporters of the Westmont Annual Fund so other students can receive the education that has been so important in their lives.
When they did their estate planning recently, the Frohlings made a different kind of provision for the college. In the event the entire family dies, they have split their estate between relatives and three organizations, one of which is Westmont. The proceeds would fund a scholarship for students with financial need.
If something happens just to Chris and Krista, the estate is set up to support the children. But as the youngsters get older, the Frohlings expect to update the trust to include a greater provision for Westmont.
The couple enjoyed the exercise in planning and recommend that all young families consider these issues. “We’re numbers people,” Chris says. “We wanted to make sure we made all the decisions about who benefits from our estate.”
“The thought of Westmont students going out into the world equipped to live out their faith in so many different ways is exciting to us,” Krista says. “That’s the kind of ministry we want to support.”