> services >
> estate planning >
planning components > will your will be known?
Your Will Be Known?
"The Traveler never expects the
journey will end before the destination is reached."
-- E. F. Randolph
must be one of the reasons for the startling fact that each year
approximately seventy percent (70%) of the adult Americans who die
leave no personally prepared statement of their will. We emphasize
personally prepared, because a last will and testament is in place
for those who do not choose to have their own unique document
created: it was written by the law makers of the state, and is a
raises the question, "Who needs a personal will?"
may presume, in the case of a modest estate, that a will represents
unnecessary paperwork. This probably stems from the view that the
sole function of this document is to outline property distribution.
And while it is true that the will helps to avoid any potential
confusion over specific ownership, the real purpose of a will should
be seen in a much broader context.
will is really your final opportunity to communicate with those you
care for most.
even in cases where there may be no property distribution issues,
the will offers a forum for:
naming an Executor for your estate
• identifying your choice as the
guardian for any minor children, in the event of the death of both
• remembering individuals and
families who would not otherwise be beneficiaries of your estate
• remembering a favorite Baptist
ministry or other charitable causes.
the most modest estate, the distribution of specific items is often
one of the most powerful forms of communicating. To begin with, a
will allows you to name an Independent Executor -- one person, hand
picked by you -- charged with the responsibility of gathering all
that comprises your estate, and adhering to the terms specified in
your wish is that your musician son receive the family piano, or
that a special piece of jewelry be bequeathed to a favorite niece,
the personally prepared will is the easiest way to ensure that your
wishes are known -- and respected.
absence of a personal will, the settlement of an estate can be
unnecessarily costly, and each state has its own set formula for
example, when an individual dies without a will (dies intestate),
and is survived by a spouse and two children, the law specifies
distribution -- without respect to special needs or circumstances.
In addition, if the children are minors the law may require that a
guardian be appointed. And while this is almost always the surviving
spouse, the absence of a will means that a bond could have to be
does the "one-size-fits-all" will prepared by the state accurately
reflect all the wishes of a decedent. And there is no provision for
the Lord's work or other charitable causes.
The Charitable Bequest -- A Powerful
centuries history reflects that individuals have used the last will
and testament as a forum for expressing their philanthropic wishes.
And the charitable bequest has become the easiest and most common
method used by Americans to support the charity (or charities) of
bequest may be as general or as specific as the donor wishes. The
will may designate a dollar amount, specific property, a percentage
of the estate, or the bequest may be contingent on other events
outlined in the will. And, should the donor desire, the purpose for
which the bequest is to be used may also be expressed.
A Charitable Bequest May Reduce Estate
bequest is made through The Foundation to a qualified charity like
your local Baptist church, Alabama or Southern Baptist entity, it
results in an estate tax deduction when the will is probated, and
effectively reduces any estate tax owed. Depending on the size of
the estate and the value of the bequest, this deduction can have a
dramatic impact on the shrinkage due to estate taxes.
A Charitable Requests Gives You The
Opportunity to Create a "Kingdom" Legacy
Baptists desire to create a gift that will continue to assist
important Baptist churches and ministries. Careful estate planning
may show you ways to create such a "Kingdom" legacy once thought
impossible. Consider tithing or giving a portion of your estate to
the Lord's work.
Office of Planned Giving has prepared a brochure which will provide
you with more information on charitable bequests and their impact.
The brochure also includes suggested wording to be incorporated as
you prepare or update your will. Please call or write at this
address and we will promptly send you this free brochure.
Contact: The Office of Development at
or by calling 334-394-2025.