By Ron Dorner
Things are changing. It is especially true in the area of estate planning.
I have sat with some of you to help you plan your estate. I tried to impress upon you that it is important to review an estate plan every couple of years. If you have not looked at your will or trust for some time, your lack of action could prove costly.
As of this writing, existing federal law on estate taxes is uncertain after 2010. In fact, if a person dies in 2010, there is no federal estate tax. If you have a credit shelter trust and die in 2010, it is possible that the distribution to your spouse will not be as you had planned. Congress is processing legislation to make changes, but what will become law is uncertain.
This can be very confusing. I urge you to contact your attorney for a complete review of your estate plan. If you have a trust, I suggest you do it soon. Otherwise, wait until later in 2010 once the new law is in place.
Prior to meeting with your attorney, why not consider your charitable goals? Church planting should be near and dear to the heart of every Grace Brethren individual. The church where you are now a member undoubtedly was planted by earlier Grace Brethren who had the vision to develop a church in your community to reach others for Christ.
There are several ministries that are focused on planting new Grace Brethren churches in North America. If you would ask those who lead the ministries what undergirds a successful ministry in church planting, they would tell you money (after prayer). Without a doubt God calls people to plant churches, but they often can’t go because of lack of financial support.
Consider honoring the Lord in your estate plans by leaving a significant gift to one of those ministries. If everyone reading this article did so, the face of church planting in our network of churches would change.
Several organizations are developing new Grace Brethren churches in the U.S. and Canada. Click here for more information.
I am reminded of a passage in the Old Testament that shows David’s great love for God and His temple.
Now with all my ability I have provided for the house of my God the gold for the things of gold, and the silver for the things of silver, and the bronze for the things of bronze, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood, onyx stones and inlaid stones, stones of antimony and stones of various colors, and all kinds of precious stones and alabaster in abundance. – 1 Chronicles 29:2
Consider how you can be involved in church planting – either with a financial gift or by personal involvement.
Ron Dorner is director of Biblical Money Management. BMM has been helping believers handle their finances and estate planning since 1984. Online counseling is available at BiblicalMoneyManagement.com.