While it is beneficial for every person to have an estate plan for the sake of their family, it is even more essential for followers of Christ. Though some people may be uncomfortable talking about the topic, it doesn’t have to be scary — especially for Christians, knowing that because of our faith and trust in Jesus, we have a glorious future to look forward to after death.
Throughout my career I have found there are three foundational reasons every Christian needs an estate plan:
1. Everyone has assets that must be distributed at death.
No matter your economic level, when you leave this life, the assets you have accumulated must be distributed somewhere. You may have heard the saying, “I have never seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul!” That is the reality. We do not take the material things of this life with us to heaven. That being said, it has to go somewhere, so we all need to make provisions to pass along the possessions we have. While many people might think they do not have very much, once they start listing all their assets on paper, most people soon realize they have more than they thought. Some assets will be distributed based on titling of the asset or beneficiary designation (real estate, life insurance, retirement accounts, etc.). Everything else needs to be distributed, and a last will and testament is the best way to do this. If you die without a will, the State of Tennessee will determine how your assets will be given away. So, it behooves all of us to have our own plan in place. After all, everyone has an estate, but not everyone has a plan!
2. It is an act of stewardship.
The Bible contains more than 2,000 verses related to money and stewardship. The Holman Bible Dictionary defines stewardship as “utilizing and managing all resources God provides for the glory of God and the betterment of His creation.”
One of the key words in this definition is managing. That is what the word stewardship boils down to. We are the managers of the resources God has given us. Every believer in Christ must understand the principle that God owns everything. Psalm 24:1 states, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” (KJV) A good manager will make provisions for things under his care. That does not stop at death. To be a faithful manager, we must make plans to pass along the assets under our care so they can be used to help others and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. We all must be faithful stewards of our resources!
3. It is a powerful way for us to leave a legacy.
What do you want to be remembered for? I think it is intrinsic in all of us to want to leave some kind of legacy to our family and friends. One of the great opportunities we have as Christians is to designate something in our estate to take the Gospel to the next generation. The Tennessee Baptist Foundation is available to help any Tennessee Baptist learn how they can take care of their family and bless the next generation with a faith-based estate plan. Psalm 145:4 states, “One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.” (KJV) What greater way to help the next generation than to leave resources for them to proclaim the cause of Christ. It’s your faith and your legacy!
Give us a call today. We would love to help you steward your blessings well and leave a legacy of impact.
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Please note that the advice offered in this article is not intended to be construed as tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice for the reader. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.