Dreams Become Reality

Matching Donors’ Needs with the Needs in Ministry

Edwin HumphreysEdwin Humphreys died last year, but this year and in future years he will help someone achieve an education.

Mr. Humphreys had a special place in his heart for young people, particularly those who might not qualify for academic scholarships such as “the Promise” scholarship for students who maintain a particular grade point average.  Mr. Humphreys well understood that family situations and other outside influences could affect an individual’s performance in school, and he wanted to reach out to those youth so affected.

Mr. Humphreys knew that some post high school education—college, technical school, or trade school—might make the difference between a youth falling through the cracks and going on to achieve a career and to becoming a productive member of society. 

Ed Humphreys was a devout Christian who desired to answer Jesus’ call to help the least of these, our brothers and sisters.  Jeff Taylor and his predecessor at the Foundation, Rev. David R. Peters, worked with Ed Humphreys for several years before he finalized his gift arrangement in the way that satisfied him.  To help Mr. Humphreys catch the vision, Rev. Peters arranged a meeting between Mr. Humphreys and the mission project directors of the West Virginia Annual Conference.  Once Mr. Humphreys was able to hear how the mission projects might be able to identify the prospects for such a scholarship, his dreams began to take shape.

With the help of the Foundation and his own attorney, Mr. Humphreys created a plan that will provide scholarships for young persons who might have no other opportunity for post-secondary education.  In order to insure that those less fortunate would always be the scholarship recipients, Ed’s legacy gift gives the mission project directors of the West Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church the responsibility for selecting the scholarship recipients, presumably from those served by the mission projects.

Although Ed died in 2011, his legacy of generosity will continue forever.  The accumulated earthly treasures of Ed’s lifetime will benefit countless others. 

The rest of the story….

Edwin Humphrey’s not only highlights the benefits of working with the Foundation to plan for future ministry, but also it underscores the importance of keeping the original will in a safe place, and notifying trusted friends and loved ones where it is.

After Mr. Humphrey’s death, the original will could not be found—in fact, it was never found.  Only a proper will with original signatures can be admitted to probate for the purposes of settling an estate.  In this case, the executor of Mr. Humphrey’s estate had to file a “friendly” lawsuit to get the Court’s approval to allow a copy of the will to be admitted.  Because all of the evidence—testimony from his personal attorney, from the executor of the estate, and from Jeff Taylor—showed to the judge’s satisfaction that Mr. Humphreys never changed his intention to leave his estate to the Foundation for the purpose of the scholarship fund, the Court ruled that the copy would suffice.  Had the judge been confronted with evidence to the contrary, however, the result may have been different.  We can all learn from this:  put your original will and other important papers in a fire-proof safe or bank deposit box, and let your trusted advisors know where it is. 

To learn more about bequests, visit our Bequest page, or better yet, call us.  We can work with you as you consider the possiblities.