You already have an estate plan

By Myles Fish, director of stewardship and discipleship

Myles FishThat is correct. You already have an estate plan. Your plan is either the one you wrote and that expresses your values or it is the plan that was written by the state legislature and expresses the values of the court. Either way a plan exists for distributing your assets. The only question is whether it is the estate plan you want –– the one that’s best for you and the one that expresses your desires to be a good steward.

Anyone who owns assets has an estate. The estate might fill several large homes or a simple storage locker but, upon a person’s death, those assets must, by law, be properly distributed. Exactly which assets are distributed to whom depends on the estate plan. If a person hasn’t written a plan, a court could distribute the assets in accordance with state law, which might not fit the wishes of the deceased.

Many people assume that estate planning is only about the wealthy saving estate taxes. Consequently, they often ignore estate planning because they assume that their estate is too small to be taxed. Yet increased home values, larger life insurance policies and larger retirement accounts often make estates more valuable than people realize.

For followers of Jesus Christ, who want to be good stewards, an estate plan is an act of faithfulness. It is the final way for a steward to express gratitude to God and to support Christ’s mission. It is a way to continue our faithfulness long after our present assignment has been concluded.

If you have not yet written your plan or if you have a plan but have not yet included First Presbyterian Church, I invite you to contact me. I am not a professional financial planner, but I can help you get started.

­ Myles Fish is director of discipleship and stewardship. Contact him at 336-478-4735 or

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Paisley Heritage Fund

Paisley Heritage Fellowship

Paisley Heritage Fund to make the church’s ministry part of your estate’s legacy. Through Paisley Heritage Fellowship, church members can plan estate gifts that will continue their legacies for future generations. Read about some of our "future givers."

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Charitable tax provision

People who are 70½ years of age and older can donate up to $100,000 to FPC (or another charity) directly from their Individual Retirement Accounts. These distributions will not be treated as taxable income. Depending on your circumstances, this could be an excellent way to fulfill campaign pledges, annual pledges, or to make a special year end gift to the ministries of First Presbyterian Church. Please consult with your tax advisor before making a final decision, but we wanted you to know that this provision is now permanent.