Years ago while on the mission field I had a colleague who was the ultimate task oriented individual. He kept a small notebook and pen in his front pocket at all times with a list of all that he had to accomplish during that particular day. As the day advanced and tasks were complete, he would systematically scratch through completed items on his list. In the event he did something that was not on the list, you guessed it, he would write it down so he could scratch it off. Of course, there were generally items on the list that were left unfinished at the end of the day. These were dutifully added at the top of the list for the next day.
The truth is that all of us have some form of unfinished business in our life. Whatever your system is for keeping up with what you want to do and have not yet accomplished, there are likely always going to be things that make it on the list for another day. However, there are also some items that often never even make it on any list. Let me suggest one that all Christ followers should consider taking care of so it does not remain as unfinished business when God calls you to Heaven.
The subject at hand is leaving a bequest in your last will and testament or trust that will benefit the Kingdom of God. A bequest is the simplest type of planned gift to make and one of the easiest to implement. This type of gift makes it possible for the donor to make gifts at death that may not have been possible during their lifetime. This can be a percentage of your remaining assets, a specific amount, or a remaining balance after other estate concerns have been addressed. Because of the uncertainty of whether we will need our resources during our lifetime such as for long-term health care or other significant expenses, it often keeps us from making current gifts that are possible when we no longer have need for them at our passing.
While alive, we have options about how to distribute the resources in our estate. Upon taking our last breath, those options go away. Consider the wisdom of going ahead and making provision for the distribution of your remaining assets in a way that will be consistent with your values and wishes. A qualified attorney can easily help you design your will or trust to meet your specific needs. This matter of leaving a bequest to your church or other favorite charities does not have to be unfinished business at the end of life’s road. You get to choose.
- To what entities would you consider leaving a charitable gift bequest?
- What obstacle(s) can keep a person from leaving a bequest?
- What one action do you need to do today to put a bequest in place?
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