Usually, that little cliché is heard from a background of exasperation. Or, as we have often learned too late, we should have taken action before an event precipitated the consequences that we regret.
Biblically, the emphasis is on the careful use of our time (Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5; Psalms 90:12), so that we will not regret the consequences whenever an unexpected event takes place. The most unexpected and uncontrollable event, of course, is the moment when God calls us into His eternity and presence.
Since we know that the event will take place, but not when, our preparation for that event should be carefully planned. Have you done so?
Did you know . . . ?
1. If you don't have a will, your State will invoke its "descent and distribution" laws. Your heirs will have no say at that point, and many will have to pay fees and expenses that could otherwise be avoided with a will.
2. The smaller the estate the more important it is that it be settled quickly. Delays are often very costly. A properly prepared will or trust is the best way to avoid delays and additional expenses.
3. Careful planning before you visit an attorney can often reduce the cost of having a professional will or trust executed. Do you know what is needed?
4. Even a small portion of a typical estate can be a very meaningful gift to a charitable interest that has been an important part of your life. Charitable bequests aren't always left by the wealthy.
5. Sometimes it is better to distribute assets while you are still able to make changes. Charities can shift in focus or potential heirs can reveal directions that do not coincide with your wishes. There are estate and financial instruments that provide for "revocable" gifts as well as sequential gifts.
Let ICR help you get started.
ICR has prepared several booklets and worksheets that can help you focus your planning. Check an appropriate box on the donor envelope or call us directly.