Law School Alum Establishes Life Insurance Gift to Give Now—and Later

Thomas R. Kromer (LAW ’82) likes to think ahead, which is why he and his wife, Dana, have made a gift of life insurance to Case Western Reserve University’s School of Law.

This kind of commitment—an underutilized tool in planned giving—is an opportunity to provide a significant gift to the university immediately, without impairing assets intended for the donor’s family. With four children, ages 16 to 26, the Kromers felt it was important to make their pledge for the long term.

Kromer pays Case Western Reserve the cost of the premium in the form of a cash gift. The university then pays for the policy, which it owns.

“If something happens to me, the law school still receives a nice gift,” Kromer said. “The benefit to the university is a long-term, committed gift from us.”

In addition, the Kromer receive an income-tax deduction as a result of the premium payments. In situations where an employer will match an insurance premium gift, the benefit is further leveraged.

The son of what he called a “Marcus Welby-type” physician, Kromer realized early he would not follow his father into medicine after watching him stitch up a laceration in the emergency room.

Kromer was a member of a local investment club while in high school and a regular reader of his father’s Wall Street Journal. An Eagle Scout, he had an opportunity to get to know an attorney in his hometown of Sandusky, Ohio, while earning his citizenship merit badges. After earning his undergraduate degree from John Carroll University in business management, he enrolled in the School of Law at Case Western Reserve.

“Law school got me outside of my comfort zone,” said Kromer, who lives in Dublin, Ohio. “There were so many intense, smart, aggressive and competitive students.” While in law school, he decided he wanted to take the exam to become a certified public accountant. “I had a great counselor at Case Western Reserve who made it possible for me, as a law student, to take accounting classes at Weatherhead School of Management,” he says.

Today, Kromer is a CPA and Certified Financial Plannerâ„¢ and has spent the last 29 years as a tax professional at Deloitte. He’s been a partner for 10 years; for the past six, he has held the position of tax director. Kromer leads the Columbus office’s private client services practice, providing tax-planning services to high net-worth and closely held business clients.

“I’ve counseled clients on various gifting techniques. It was time for us to practice what I preach,” he said.

As much as this career diverges from his father’s path, Kromer is quick to note other ways in which parental influence has persisted. His father, for example, was among the greatest early advocates for philanthropy. “He always said that someone else helped you to get where you are,” Kromer said. “It’s always good to give back and support the next group.”

Thomas and Dana Kromer

“[My father] always said that someone else helped you to get where you are. It’s always
good to give back and support
the next group.”
—Thomas Kromer