Creating (or updating) an estate plan is among the most important things you can do in order to... 

  • Ensure the property you have accumulated over your lifetime goes exactly where you want it to go and when. If you don’t have a will or living trust, the state will implement a distribution plan for you, which may or may not be in accordance with your wishes.
  • Give directions to be followed in case you become incapacitated and can’t make decisions for yourself.
  • Organize your affairs and designate who will handle them when you are gone.
  • Appoint a guardian for any minor‐aged children.
  • Provide for any special needs your loved ones may have.
  • Minimize possible estate taxes and costs.
  • Specify the type of funeral arrangements you would like.
  • Remember and provide for friends, pets, and organizations in line with your passions and commitments that are never a part of the default state distribution scheme.

By planning, you also make things easier for your family. If something happens to you, it will be a very difficult time for your family members and other loved ones. How wonderful it would be if they knew exactly what you wanted to have happen and have the means at hand to follow your wishes. Consider the planning you do now to be your final future gift to your loved ones.

While estate planning may entail some difficult choices, it does provide a sense of relief and peace of mind when it is done. You’ll know that you have done your best to plan and provide for yourself and for loved ones, as well as the causes you’ve cared about during your lifetime. There is great satisfaction in knowing what your legacy on earth will be.

If you would like to support InterVarsity through your will or living trust, click here for sample bequest wording you can share with your attorney. Or consider a gift by beneficiary designation also known as a "bequest substitute.” It has many of the same advantages as a bequest while being among the most tax‐wise ways to give.