That 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 mfish(at)fpcgreensboro.org.