Thy will be done

November 24, 2010 | Viewpoints | Number 23
Arnie Friesen |
Arnie Friesen

Preparing your personal will in light of the Lord’s Prayer makes a lot of sense if you seek to do God’s will on earth as it is done in heaven.

As Christians, we acknowledge that we don’t really own anything; we are simply managers of the resources God has entrusted to us. We should take utmost care to invest in kingdom initiatives while we are alive. Furthermore, how we distribute our resources after we die should also reflect the will of God. Completing a will increases the possibility that more will be left to distribute for charitable purposes and less will be used up by the courts.

Our families are also entrusted to us by God. We should seek God’s will when providing for our children, especially if we were to die before they are able to take care of themselves. This includes selecting guardians who share our faith and value system.

But we might want to consider whether it is appropriate to leave our entire estate to our children. Warren Buffet, a multi-billionaire, once commented, “I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing.”

Dying without a will simply means that your provincial government will decide how your assets are divided. Chances are this will not be according to your wishes, and maybe not God’s either, for that matter.

Nearly 50 percent of Canadian adults do not have a will. If you find yourself in this group, your resistance probably stems from one of these excuses:

  • Wills cost too much. (Ask about the will rebate offered by Mennonite Foundation in connection with free will-counselling services.)
  • Not enough assets to really matter.
  • Planning to do a hand-written will or use a “will kit.”
  • Don’t expect to die anytime soon.
  • Superstition. I fear I will die sooner if I have a will.

If one of these excuses is yours, please contact a Mennonite Foundation consultant to discuss your concerns. Don’t procrastinate!

If you already have a will, you are to be commended. But keep in mind that a will should be reviewed periodically, especially if there are changes in your family, such as births, deaths, retirement or changes in financial status. Other reasons for re-visiting a will include: your executor or guardian has moved or passed away, you marry or re-marry, or you have moved to another province.

Doing the will of God quite plainly means teaming up in doing what matters to God. Completing an estate plan is really doing “God’s will.”

Arnie Friesen is a stewardship consultant at the Abbotsford, B.C., office of Mennonite Foundation of Canada (MFC). For stewardship education and estate and charitable gift planning, contact your nearest MFC office or visit MennoFoundation.ca.

Arnie Friesen

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