3 reasons to share your estate plans with loved ones

A family eats lunch in Bangkok.

By Kevin Vandenbrink

We thank God for you and your heart for the Lord and his mission around the world.

Many friends of Langham Partnership choose to support the Lord’s work by including Langham and other ministries in their will or trust. This type of gift is called a “legacy” gift because it comes from a place of great thoughtfulness and highlights the legacy you wish to leave your friends and loved ones. A gift in a will or a trust is an expression of who you are, what you love and what matters to you!

If you have made estate plans, have you considered sharing them with your children or loved ones? For some people, this seems intimidating because it is so personal. For others, it may just seem complicated.

While every situation is unique, there are some good reasons to consider sharing your plans with your children or loved ones.

Our friends at the Barnabas Foundation have helped us put together a two-page guide to help know how, when and where to share your plans in a way that will be a blessing. We would love to share a copy with you — just fill out the form below to download your copy.

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Now let’s dive into the benefits of sharing your estate plans.

Sharing your plans shrinks the ‘expectation gap’ 

Sometimes children or other heirs live with an expectation regarding your plans, and often there can be a gap between these expectations and reality. You should always share that plans can be changed and that we don’t know the future. But it can be a blessing to your loved ones to have a general sense of what’s ahead so that they do not live with false expectations. Sharing plans now can also benefit family relationships when your estate is being settled.

Read more: How to align your values with your generosity

Sharing your estate plans makes them personal

Imagine two scenarios: In one, your attorney is meeting with your heirs and loved ones in a law office and reading from a long and complicated legal document. The process can feel formal, cold and disconnected from relationships.

Now imagine a different scenario. After some intentional and prayerful planning, you have called the right people together for a small family gathering. Or perhaps you have written a personal letter to each one of your children. You disclose your plans in the context of deep love and personal warmth.

The first approach accomplishes the settlement of your estate — but it is impersonal. The second approach goes far beyond a formal meeting to accomplish something that could be a blessing for all involved. 

Sharing your plans amplifies your testimony

In the context of a family meeting, one-on-one meetings or a letter, you can share not only what you plan to do, but why. You have the opportunity to share how you have experienced the Lord’s goodness and generosity.

If you have included Langham or other ministries in your plans, you can share about the transformative impact this gift will make on God’s people around the world. It is an opportunity for “one generation to commend the Lord’s works to another” (Psalm 145:4). 

We’d love to help you take the next steps!

Download a two-page guide

Our friends at the Barnabas Foundation talk through how, when and where to share your plans. Scroll back up to download your copy.

Watch a helpful video

Attorney and Barnabas Foundation Executive Director Jim Bakke has helped thousands of families with their plans. He held a recent talk on “Healthy Conversations – Sharing what’s in your will with your family. Email me to request a link to the video.

Contact us

If you have not yet made estate plans in a will or trust, we would love to help you take the next steps by introducing you to people who can guide you through the process.

If you have made plans that include Langham Partnership, we would love to hear about it. We want to express our appreciation, care for your future gift and welcome you to our Cross of Christ Legacy Fellowship. Contact me anytime by phone at (314) 488-0256 or by email at kevin.vandenbrink@langham.org.

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. Click here to send an email to Kevin, or call him at (314) 488-0256.