Your will is your last act of Stewardship.
It is important to God that you complete the management of what God has blessed you with when you graduate to glory!
God has entrusted us to manage what God has blessed us with today and to give Him a good return on His investment (Matthew 25:14-30) and to give back to Him what is left. God expects us to fulfill our responsibilities to support our spouse and underage children. He expects His resources to be used to continue to build His Kingdom. In giving to adult children we have to consider: is this equivalent to being returned to God to keep working in His Kingdom? Solomon despaired of leaving wealth to his son Rehoboam, for his son was a fool. (Ecclesiastes 2:18-20, 1 Kings 12).
It is good to ask: have my adult children learned to work, to walk by faith and to manage money? Is leaving God’s assets to an unbeliever good stewardship? The prodigal son wasted his inheritance (Luke 15:12ff). Would leaving assets to an adult child be investing in the Kingdom of God? Jesus warned us that salvation can divide families (Matthew 10:37) and obedience to God is more important than family.
Communicating with your family is important to alleviate false expectations. Many have family meetings to discuss these matters. I have talked to many Christian parents and grandparents who are being mistreated by their unbelieving adult children especially in regards to the grandchildren. Yet these same adult children expect to benefit equally in their parents estate with their saved siblings. God will hold these adult children accountable, so seek God’s will in dealing with unsaved adult children. (Your lawyer can document reasons for your decisions to comply with the Successor Law Reformation Act if you are in Ontario.) But don’t use wealth to manipulate!
Even with saved adult children the rule should be to pass wisdom before wealth. Give saved adult children gifts during your lifetime and see how they manage money. In dealing with large estates it is helpful to consider: will what I leave change the lifestyle of my adult children and grandchildren?
Money is referred to in approximately 2350 verses in the Bible. The love of money can be dangerous because it can lead to one abandoning God (Matthew 6:24), it can lead to greed (Luke 12:13-15) and materialism and a lack of love for those in need (1 Timothy 6:8-10).
A disciplined, orderly, well thought out estate plan covered with prayer and prepared with the help of wise council and a lawyer can accomplish your goals and responsibilities to God and family.
In my next article I’ll tell you about the Barriers to Estate Planning.
This article is intended for information purposes only and not for legal or tax advice. Seek a professional for legal or tax advice.
For more information on Wills and Estate Planning in Your Province visit:
Manitoba (a legal guide to Farm Estate planning PDF document)