Four Reasons to Make Decisions About Your Estate Now
Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your hand. 1 Chronicles 29:14
Making decisions about your estate now can prevent and solve a number of problems. October is National Estate Planning Awareness Month in the United States – and there are many good reasons for us to make plans through a will or a trust. Here are four important reasons to go ahead and make decisions about the distribution of your assets:
- You remove a burden from your family members. If you fail to complete a will or trust, the laws in your state will determine how your assets are given away. This process is especially difficult for family members. You can prevent conflict and unnecessary stress through estate planning.
- You can have peace of mind about how your resources will be stewarded upon your death. Proper planning will ease your anxiety knowing that your wishes will be honored in relation to your finances, your health directives, and even the guardianship for your children.
- You can relieve your tax burden and the tax burden of your beneficiaries as well. The estate planning process enables you to examine the tax implications of transferring your assets to the next generation and make sure you do so in the most tax-efficient manner.
As good as those reasons are, I want to highlight reason #4. As a Christian, one of the greatest reasons many people choose to make plans for a legacy gift in their will or trust: Your legacy gift will likely make the greatest kingdom impact of any financial gift you will ever make.
How? Read on for some examples.
The Leverage of a Legacy Gift:
- *Sally gave regularly to support Langham Partnership. Over many years, she contributed over $2,000 to train pastors around the world. By including Langham in her will, Sally was able to make a legacy gift of $13,500 – a gift that was more than six times the size of her lifetime giving.
- *Richard gave almost $30,000 to Langham over 20 years. Because he made plans to include Langham in his will, he was able to make a legacy gift of $127,000 – more than four times his lifetime giving.
- *Anna loved to partner with Langham throughout much of her life, and gave $11,000 over many years. She chose to make a gift in her will in honor of our founder John Stott, and she was able to contribute $359,000 to Langham when she went to be with the Lord – more than 32 times her lifetime giving!
* – Names have been changed to protect donor confidentiality.
How might the Lord use your legacy gift to strengthen the church in hard places?
- You may have a heart to provide full funding for a Langham Scholar who will return to train more than 7,000 students students during their lifetime. Or, perhaps you dream of funding 10, 20, or even more scholars to multiply this impact!
- It could be that you have a passion to fund a the creation of a new Bible commentary that will help pastors and teachers in the Majority World communicate God’s word more faithfully.
- Maybe the Lord longs to use you to strengthen the health of the global church by funding the launch of a pastor training movement in a new country.
Most of us are not in a place to fully fund PhD studies for 20 Majority World Bible students or to publish an entire commentary series through our normal yearly giving. However, it is entirely possible for many of us to make this kind of impact when we choose to include Langham as a beneficiary of 5%, 10%, 30% or more of our estate.
I love sharing and dreaming with donors like you about how the Lord might want to use your gifts. And I love sharing wisdom and ideas from others that can help you in your stewardship journey. Of course, all of our conversations are confidential and come without any obligation. If you have already made plans for a Legacy Gift to Langham Partnership, it would be my joy to welcome you as a charter member of our Cross of Christ Legacy Fellowship. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-488-0256.
Kevin VandenBrink, Planned Giving Director for Langham Partnership, is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®) and a member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners. He is passionate about helping people like you who care about the global church and long to be wise stewards. He also brings to the Langham team many years of engagement in theological education, pastoral ministry, and global missions.
Kevin would love to hear your story, celebrate what the Lord is doing through Langham, and visit with you about the options and benefits of including Langham in your planned giving. Please click here to send an email to Kevin, or call him at (314) 488-0256.