The French physician, author, and satirist Francois Rebelais left a bit of humor in his will. He wrote, “I owe much; I have nothing; the rest I leave to the poor.”
You may share Rebelais’ wit. We often hear people question the need to plan their estates. The inner conversation could go something like this, "I do not own much, and I do not know what will happen between now and the time I die. Will I face hospital bills and nursing facilities? Will the economy be okay?"
Many factors can keep us from experiencing the blessing of stewardship. We want to be found faithful when we meet God face to face, yet we tell ourselves that generosity is just for the wealthy. We feel burdened by the harsh reality of meeting financial obligations with limited resources.
It is important to remember that we are not living in this world alone. God is fully aware of our lives, our commitments, and our financial obligations. That is why He provides. Good stewardship is not always about giving—it is also about managing the resources we have been given.
Scriptures are clear that faithful stewardship is not just for those who have accumulated wealth. In fact, one of the greatest compliments Jesus gave a steward was to the widow who had little to give but was faithful with what she had.
Do not let your current financial situation rob you of this blessing from God. He has provided for your needs—according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus—and you are worth more than you think.
Often when individuals examine their assets, they realize they have more than they thought. Your home, life insurance, household goods, retirement benefits and savings accounts, stocks and bonds, all add up. It is important to consider how they will be distributed when you leave this world. Regardless of the size of your estate, it is important that you complete your planning as an act of stewardship.
For many, a Will, combined with a Durable Power of Attorney in order to manage property in case of disability prior to death, is sufficient. For others, it might be necessary to create a Trust. If you have minor children or your estate is large enough to be taxable, a Trust is likely needed. Whether a Will or a Trust, it is important to begin the process by taking an inventory and outlining your plans.
Regardless of the size or complexity of your estate, proper planning may not be as costly or as complicated as you think. In fact, it can be quite simple. It is a relatively small step to take now in order to obtain the peace of mind knowing you have served faithfully.