Three college students skipped an exam to attend a concert instead. The following day they claimed a flat tire kept them from arriving to class on time. The professor graciously granted them permission to make the test up later that week.

The day of the test, the students took their seats on opposite sides of the room, feeling quite smug their little lie had worked. But when they flipped over their papers the test had just two questions:    

  1. What is your name? (1 point)  
  1. Which tire was flat? (99 points)  

Sometimes even the best laid plans fall apart. You make it to the airport in plenty of time, but your passport is lying on the kitchen counter. Or you wrap the Christmas gifts, but forget to label who they’re meant for. However, there’s one plan everyone should take extra care to create – their estate plan.  

Author Alan Lakein wrote, “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” When you create a will or estate plan that provides for loved ones and reflects your values, you have an opportunity to make an uncertain future certain. An up-to-date will also allow you to:  

  1. Protect your family. You’re the best person to make tough decisions about your care or personal estate. Preparing ahead means you’ll remove the possible burden from loved ones and allows you to name a guardian for your minor children.  
  1. Simplify your retirement. Proper estate planning can benefit you throughout the rest of your life, helping offset the cost of future healthcare and leave more money for heirs.  
  1. Reduce your tax load. Numerous tax reduction strategies exist to help keep more money in your estate. The key is to plan sooner rather than later.  
  1. Support your favorite cause or ministry. Just because estate planning is considered a “legal” transaction doesn’t mean you can’t plan with your heart. Consider leaving a gift in your will for Money for Ministry to impact lives for years to come.  
“The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways…” Proverbs 14.8a