Articles & Resources

This is Why You Should Read up on Estate Planning (And It’s Not for the Reasons You Think)

Aug 31, 2017 | By Art Rainer
Estate planning. Sounds fun, right?

If you are not familiar with the term estate planning, it basically means preparing for what will happen to your possessions when you die. When many hear the word “estate,” they assume it is something exclusively for the wealthy.

It’s not. It is for anyone who thinks they will have possessions, whether much or little, at the time of their death. This includes money, houses, cars, and even children. Everything.

So estate planning is pretty much for everyone.

The most common tools for estate planning are wills and trusts. These documents tell those who are still living after your death how to manage or give away your possessions.

Estate planning is beneficial, far beyond the reasons you may think.

Estate planning forces you to come face to face with the true relationship between us and our possessions. And these realities are not just for the elderly. They are for all of us.

So here three realities that estate planning brings to light:

  1. You really need a plan. Let me rephrase that—your family needs a plan. A clear plan can help your family avoid a mess. Unclear desires can lead to numerous disagreements and relational stress. A clear, legally-binding plan is not for you. It is for them. Planning your estate is an act of service and love to your family.

  2. We really don’t own anything. You cannot consider how you want to hand off your estate without realizing your lack of ownership. They are only under your watch for a time and, then, they are under another’s watch. We are truly momentary stewards of what God has entrusted to us. Our possessions do not follow us into eternity. We either live with open hands now or, eventually, have death force them open.

  3. A life spent chasing money and possessions has a sad ending. Since possessions do not follow us into eternity, the one who spends their entire life pursuing temporary things will neglect pursuing meaningful, fulfilling, and eternal things. Money is not bad. Possessions are not bad. But a life centered on those things is centered on something temporary. And, at their life’s end, it will all be lost.

Estate planning is for pretty much everyone. So read up on estate planning. And it can be beneficial, sometimes, in unexpected ways. It can bring to light realities worth considering. Serve your family well and provide a plan for your estate. And serve God well by consuming yourself with that which is eternal.

Written by Art Rainer, member of the Summit Stewardship and Generosity Ministry Leadership Team.

The Summit offers a variety of stewardship classes to help equip you to become a faithful steward.

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