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Wills Program Tool Box

It is true in many congregations that we are reaping the harvest of seeds that were sown by generations before us.  Each of us is called to sow seeds for future generations, whether it be the widow’s mite or great earthly treasure.
 
Creating and promoting a Wills Emphasis Program in the local congregation opens an important avenue for members and friends to leave a lasting legacy of their faith and to the meaning the church has offered them throughout their lives.  A well-planned program gives both donor and recipient guidelines for how gifts can be made and how they will be used, and can avert the complications and confusion about gifts that are narrowly restricted by the donor, or unclear in their intention and future use.
 
It is a fact that nearly 60% of Americans die without having written a Will.  Procrastination and discomfort with thinking about one’s own demise are stumbling blocks.  A comprehensive Wills Emphasis Program, in the comfort of the church community, can provide your members with help in completing this important financial planning as well as guidance in some of the other end-of-life preferences that need to be documented:  what kind of medical procedures a person wants and who will make decisions, guardianship of minor children and other dependents, a listing of where assets are and who needs to be contacted, and basic planning for funerals or memorial services.
 
Bequests can provide security for a church, but more usefully, can open doors to new forms of mission and ministry.  In each project undertaken with money from bequests is the honoring and remembering of the donor particularly, and of all those who have made our “present” possible.  We honor our past while living into a new future.
 
The Presbyterian Foundation produces a broad set of tools and resources to be used by a church and individuals for this purpose, online and in print.  Ministry Relations Officers are ready to help, offering their experience and expertise to the Session, to groups of members in workshops, and to individual donors to shape a successful program.


Minner Serovy
Ministry Relations Officer
Upper Midwest Region
Featured Resources
Live Forward Give Forward Program Guide
The Live Forward, Give Forward Creating a Wills and Legacy Giving Program Guide is designed to make it easier for you to communicate with the people in your church about joyful giving through bequests.
PDF | Updated 09/18/2017
Composing a Legacy
This 12-page booklet is an overview of many planned giving methods and is best used in conjunction with a planned giving workshop.
Publication | Updated 07/21/2016
A Culture of Giving
Video: Know the importance of giving back. Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Jefferson City, MO encourages his congregation.
Video, Website | Updated 07/15/2016
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