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Wills and Bequests

Wills and bequests are essential components of estate planning – the process of managing your accumulated assets and determining what legacy you will leave through them, including your legacy of faith. Your will and other estate planning documents provide an ideal opportunity to make a statement of your faith and to give resources that will support your church or favorite mission for years to come.

Charitable bequests, for example, can be written into your will. The bequest can be a stated amount, a percentage of your estate or a residual amount after other expenses have been deducted, left to your church or any charitable beneficiary you identify.

Judy Whitford of First Presbyterian Church in Iowa City, Iowa makes a big impact through her decision to leave ten percent of her estate to the church. She hopes that it will help her congregation empower others in the future as they have empowered her in the past.

The distribution of your assets is just one part of estate planning. The decisions you make regarding guardianship of dependents and establishing power of attorney for your finances are also important aspects in your planning. You may want to create a living will directive and designate a health care surrogate who, if necessary, would be responsible for making health care decisions on your behalf. These are just a few of the decisions to be considered.

Often, family members are invited to join in the discussion and planning to ensure that everyone is informed of your wishes. Your legal advisor will be instrumental in helping you finalize your plans.



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