Writing a Will: Planning, Trusting, Giving

on ; last featured January 7, 2017

With a good plan, you can trust God with the confidence that your family will be well-cared-for if He takes you out of this life unexpectedly. Your property will pass to your intended beneficiaries.

Do you ever wonder what the future holds? While it’s impossible to know or control what happens in the future, Christians can rest in knowing that the Lord works all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). But certainly that does not mean we should go through life without planning for the future. Planning is one way God has provided to help create a more secure future for you and your loved ones. Proverbs 21:5 states this general truth: “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty.

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With a good plan, you are obeying God's command to provide for their household (1 Timothy 5:8) if He takes you out of this life unexpectedly. It also helps ensure that your property will pass to your intended beneficiaries. Failure to plan ahead may result in accidental disinheritance—a sad situation that can occur when you have no will or your will doesn’t function properly.

A will is a written document that permits you to state how you want your property or estate distributed as well as name an executor (also called a personal representative) to distribute your property, pay debts and taxes, and handle other business affairs to settle your estate.

If you own property, you may wish to set up a living trust. A living trust can be set up during your lifetime and directs where your assets go. Unlike a will, a trust will not subject your estate to probate, which is often a lengthy and costly process that requires a court to settle your estate.

What other considerations need to be made?

  • Who will be the guardian of my dependent children? Your child is considered a minor in most states until he or she reaches age 18. It is important to appoint a guardian, so that if you pass away, the guardian may take physical custody of and care for your minor children.
  • Who will have the power to manage my finances? If you are no longer able to manage your property or later wish to have someone else manage your property, a durable power of attorney will give the person you select the legal authority to buy, sell, and manage your property.
  • Who will make my health-care decisions? A durable power of attorney for health care allows you to select a person who can assist your doctors in making health-care decisions if you become unable to act on your own behalf.

In considering your plans for the future, you may be thinking not only about how to help your family and save on estate taxes, but also how you might benefit one or more charitable organizations such as Answers in Genesis. A bequest permits you to leave a lasting legacy and often provides valuable tax savings.

A charitable bequest is one of the easiest gifts to make. You can create a bequest of any dollar amount, make a gift of specific property, or designate a percentage of your estate in your will or trust plan. If you wish to make a gift of your IRA or 401(k) plan, this can usually be done by filling out a beneficiary designation form provided by your plan administrator.

Despite the best planning, we can’t be sure what will happen to the riches we leave behind here on earth, “where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,” but giving to the Lord’s work is a way to “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” and set our hearts toward our eternal home (Matthew 6:19–21).


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