Wills and other forms of legacy giving 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. The Foundation offers planning tools to help donors compose their legacy giving plans and to help churches support these efforts.
- Wills and other estate planning documents provide an ideal opportunity to make a statement of faith and to give resources that will support your church or favorite mission for years to come.
- Suggested language is available that can help you add a bequest to your will easily (but you should consult your attorney before altering your will).
- Programs for pastors and congregations are available that will help you discuss estate planning in meaningful ways.
If you’re ready to create your will as part of your estate plan, the Foundation has sample language and other information that you may find helpful. These documents are designed to help you get started but don’t replace a consultation with an experienced attorney.
Once you’ve designated a ministry or congregation as a beneficiary in your will, you should notify your church or the other organization that they will be receiving a gift from you after your death. You may wish to give specific instructions on how you’d like to see the funds used. You should also share this news with your family so that they are aware of your wishes.
For pastors and church leaders
A wills and legacy giving program that encourages giving through charitable bequests, permanent endowment funds, and other estate plans enable your members to share God’s material gifts with the church and help fund its mission. As a church leader, you are in a unique position to educate members in the variety of ways they can support your mission and offer them opportunities to practice exceptional stewardship. Wills Emphasis is an ideal way to introduce your congregation to the concept of legacy giving and offers a solid model for developing a more complete program. Making a gift through a charitable bequest provides members with the assurance that they will continue to have complete control of their assets during their lifetime and the satisfaction of knowing their will reflects their faith and stewardship values.