Steward Your Blessings Well with Faith-Based Estate Planning
By Rev. Bill Gruenewald
Have you ever cleaned out a drawer and found a valuable coupon that expired two days ago and realized you stopped by that store a week ago and purchased something? I have, and I’m sure this has happened to many of you at one time or another. You just missed an opportunity to save some money.
What many Christians do not realize is that they may be missing out on one of the biggest opportunities they have to contribute to the Kingdom. Many of us have the capacity and the heart to do something great financially for the church, but we are only focused on our weekly giving. Luckily, there is a way to give now that will make a huge impact on the next generation of believers.
For most of us, the largest single monetary gift we can make to our church is one that will come from our estate after we’re gone. The sad truth is that this does not happen very often. Statistics reveal that only 2% of Christians leave an estate gift for their church. Why is that so low? Is it because we do not believe in the work of their church or the Kingdom of God? Of course not! The reality is that most people haven’t considered it because no one showed them how.
Rick and Helene’s Story
Rick and Helene are members of a local church in middle Tennessee. They are working to build the Kingdom here and now, and they have a vision to continue God’s work after they’re gone. Rick shared a few thoughts as to why he felt they need to have an estate plan and why he wants part of it to go carry on God’s work after he and Helene are gone:
“We originally decided to put together an estate plan when we created our first will just before we left for our first international mission trip to Kenya, Africa. We wanted to create a basic framework for an estate plan that would provide for our children as well as provide an ongoing way for our estate money to continue to provide ministry assistance after we are gone. At that time, we didn’t understand everything we needed to know about an estate plan, but the person we worked with at the Tennessee Baptist Foundation explained everything in a way we could understand.
As the process of creating an estate plan was explained to us, the opportunity to leave a small portion (actually a tithe) of our estate to continued ministry really appealed to us. And it made a lot of sense. We have been faithful tithers for all of our married life and we wanted to continue to do that through our estate plan. As we have been involved in a variety of ministries through our local church, international missions, and sponsoring children through Compassion International, we have been incredibly blessed. We had a desire to bless these ministries after our deaths.
Working with TBF was extremely easy and comfortable. They made sure we had all of our questions answered while creating a will and estate plan for the very first time. It also made a lot of financial sense to us to use TBF. At the time of the creation of our will, there was a provision that the service was offered for free as long as a portion of the estate was left to Baptist causes. We were very interested in that anyway, so it just made sense. Everyone we have worked with at TBF have been incredibly helpful, very friendly, and extremely knowledgeable.”
Are you like Rick and Helene? Do you long to do more for God’s Kingdom and ensure your blessings are used properly after you’ve gone? Do not miss this opportunity to cement your legacy and bless the next generation.
How to create an estate plan with the TBF
Thousands of Christians throughout Tennessee faithfully give to their church throughout the year, but many don’t realize that their faithfulness and generosity can continue to impact the world for generations to come.
In this short video, you can see what that process looks like.
Prepare today & advance the Kingdom tomorrow
When you prepare your estate with the future of the church in mind, you are empowering the work of God beyond your own lifetime. It’s a way to show what is important to you, proclaim your faith, and set an example for those who will come after you.
At the Tennessee Baptist Foundation, we have experts who can guide you on faith-based estate planning, planned giving guidance, and even church fund management.
Everyone has an estate
Estate planning isn’t just for the wealthy. Everyone should have some form of estate plan in place for after they’re gone. It eases the burden on those left behind and ensures that your vision for the resources God has blessed upon you comes to fruition.
68% of Americans don’t have a will or estate plan while 64% of parents do not have a will or trust. Don’t wait to set up this important foundation until it is too late.
We can help
At the TBF, we can walk you through how to set up an estate plan from start to finish. That includes a Last Will and Testament, assigning power of attorney, creating an advance care plan, and forming a trust.
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.