Family PlanningWith two young adult sons, my wife and I have spent most of our lives planning and providing for their well-being. In addition to planning to meet their day-to-day needs, in 1998 we also planned to help them in the unfortunate event we were to die while they were young.

Planning for how to provide for your family at your death is an important reason to have a thorough estate plan. Further, for someone who seeks to be a good steward of God’s resources in this life, an estate plan provides for good stewardship after death.

The unfortunate reality is that the costs of distributing your estate after death taxes and a probate process will likely be much greater if you have not planned well. That simply means less to pass on to your beneficiaries, your church or other charitable organizations.

We established an estate plan when our children were preschoolers. If you have children under 18 years of age, attention should be given to whom you want appointed as guardians for your children if both parents died before all are 18 or older. The court-appointed guardian makes all decisions you as a parent would be making for your children until each reaches 18 years of age. You can include a provision in your Will designating who you want appointed as guardian.

Including a trust provision in your will allows you to empower another person to manage the share of a family member beneficiary. Usually the trustee is permitted to use the trust income for the beneficiary and may be authorized to use trust principal for the beneficiary’s health, education and other needs.

In reflecting on our family planning, remember Paul’s admonition in 1 Timothy 5:8, “…provide for [your] own family, especially for [your] own household…” (CSB)

For more information on planned estate gifts or other ways to give to your church or the Foundation, contact Dr. Bobby Gilstrap,,  770.483.2772 or
The information in this column is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For assistance and counsel in your specific case, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.