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No matter your circumstances, you need to have a will.  A will provides instructions regarding how your assets will be distributed, who you want to care for your children, and    who you want to manage the affairs of your estate, pay your bills, and distribute what’s left over.  If you do not have a will, state law determines all of those matters.  

You can leave a gift (called a bequest) for your church in your will.  Your gift to your church or to the United Methodist Foundation for the benefit of your church or some other ministry can be:

  • Contingent—Most people want to care for their spouse and children first.  Your bequest for ministry can be contingent on their predeceasing you.  For example:  “If my spouse should predecease me, then I give, devise, and bequest my estate to the United Methodist Foundation of West Virginia, Inc. to establish a trust, the income from which shall benefit the ministries of the West Virginia Annual Conference…”
  • For a specific dollar amount or a percentage.
  • Residual—After all the other bequests are made, the church or the Foundation could be the residuary beneficiary:  “I give the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate…”

Consider tithing your estate, and the powerful witness that makes.

You can also consider a “Christian preamble.”  Your will is a legal document, but there is no reason it cannot be a testimony to your belief in the resurrection.  It is, after all, called a “Last Will and Testament.”  

You can download bequest language that you can provide for your attorney or a sample Christian Preamble.  Contact the Foundation to learn more.

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