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Treasure Principle: The Christian Will

“…Thus says the Lord, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die…’” (2 Kings 20:1).

OK, maybe you’d rather not think about it right now, but some day it will happen. Apparently, most Americans would rather not think about it either, as approximately 70% die without creating a will.1 From a stewardship perspective, not completing an estate plan is irresponsible. Death and illness is a time filled with emotion; you don’t want to add to the stress by leaving your finances in disorder. The following documents are often recommended: a will, a living will, a durable power-of-attorney for finances, and a durable power-of-attorney for health care. Let’s take a closer look at the will.

Your will is actually a love letter to your family and friends. It shows that you cared enough to organize your estate for their benefit. It is also an opportunity to share a message—one last time. A will, written by a Christian, can include a testimony of your faith. It can be personalized. You might say that you have placed your faith in Christ and in Him alone. You might acknowledge that your access to eternal life is not because of something that you have done but because of something that was done on your behalf. You can say how grateful you are for this amazing gift and that it is available to everybody. Say what you like—it’s your message.

Additionally, wills are used to distribute property. Some property is difficult to distribute during your lifetime, particularly “use” assets. For example, most folks don’t want to give away their home when they still need a place to live. The will is a perfect place to make a gift of these types of assets after your death. You may choose to give a portion of the asset’s value to a ministry and leave the rest to your children. Here’s the point: you have an opportunity to leverage what you have for the benefit of others and leave a legacy of Christian values.

Should a Christian leave an inheritance for his children? The Bible seems to teach that this is a good idea but not too much or too quickly. Note the following::

“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children…” (Proverbs 13:22).

“An inheritance gained hurriedly at the beginning will not be blessed in the end” (Proverbs 20:21).

As faithful stewards, one of the best things we can do for our families is to leave an organized estate—the message is “I love you.”

1 Money Wise Women, "Tell Your Family You Love Them--Write Your Will," Forbes Magazine, Marcia Brixey, contributor, March 30, 2012.

The views are those of Bruce Olmstead and not those of Summit Brokerage Services. Investments in securities do not offer a fix rate of return. Principal, yield and/or share price will fluctuate with changes in market conditions and, when sold or redeemed, you may receive more or less than originally invested.  No system or financial planning strategy can guarantee future results