Whether it is a fire or a flood, you would find it very difficult to fall asleep, but sometimes emergencies have a way of driving us deeper into our relationship with the Lord. Do we fall asleep spiritually when there is no fire or flood? Do we lose the passion for our faith and the love of Jesus when things are going well? I think if we are honest, we all know that we pray harder and deeper when things are not good. We worry more and thus pray more for our children that are struggling than for the ones that seem to have it together.
How do we approach our Christian family legacy with the same fervor that we have when faced with trials?
I found that people tend to put off planning until something happens that wakens them to the urgency to do so. For instance, if your parents die, and the estate is crushed by taxes, you are now more aware of the dangers if the planning is not done or done poorly. We change the estate plan or create one when a child rejects us. We start our estate planning when a spouse dies, and we are ill prepared.
Why wait to create a plan that has a Godly impact on your children and that saves every dollar in estate, capital gains and income taxes that is possible? Why wait until you are in a fire?
In fact, when you plan today, you impact children now and save taxes now as well. Estate Planning is not just about death and inheritances. When done right, the entire family is impacted immediately through the family meetings, the education and the family gifting. So how does all of that happen?
Here are 11 things you should avoid to create impact on your Christian family legacy today… and not just after you die:
- Avoid hiring an attorney before you have done a plan.
- Avoid trying to rush the planning.
- Avoid keeping your spouse in the dark about the plan.
- Avoid anything but transparency with the children.
- Avoid even starting the plan unless you have done a Vision Statement and shared that Vision Statement with the entire family.
- Avoid attorneys, accountants and planners that do not have in-depth knowledge of and share your kingdom mindset.
- Avoid planners that do not have a thorough knowledge of every strategy available to reduce taxes significantly.
- Avoid doing a plan that does not include all of your advisors as part of the process.
- Avoid insurance being the solution to all planning challenges.
- Avoid completing the plan without a family meeting that presents the plan to the entire family and gets a buy in from all family members.
- Avoid putting the plan on a shelf …review at least once a year.
Again, do not wait until you are in a fire to start one of the most important and most impactful missions that God gives you. Passing on a christian family legacy that matters and that is God-centered is not something that you can do effectively in a meeting with your attorney. It takes time, prayer and careful preparation. It may be the most meaningful thing you have ever done. Turn to our web page to get more information on the steps to preparing your estate.
Download this free ebook that will help you understand what’s possible once you discover how to become a better steward by eliminating taxes by focusing on Kingdom causes that will enable you to build an enduring family legacy.
By Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring
about significant impact for His Kingdom.