Confusion about bequests

The language used to make a gift through your will to the Lord’s work can sometimes be confusing. We talk about making a bequest, but what is that? The word “bequest,” which has its origins in Old English, means a transfer of personal property by will. Many people say a bequest can occur through any end-of-life transfer (e.g., beneficiary designation), not just through a will.

It is common to arrange our bequests in ways that minimize taxes and administrative costs in order to maximize the benefits to family and charity, but what’s the best way to accomplish this? Will your heirs incur income or inheritance taxes or will your estate have estate taxes or hidden income tax liabilities?

Does any of this this confuse you? If so, you’re not alone, and that may be why people put off writing a will. It is intimidating to some folks to set an appointment with an attorney and to discuss unfamiliar topics.

Fortunately, we can assist you with taking the confusion out of bequests. In fact, we want to send you a free booklet, Estate Planning for the Christian Steward, that explains in simple terms the basics of having a will and other steps for establishing a sound, tax-wise estate plan. We can also help you plan a future gift to Jesus through his work at WELS.

We are ready to personally assist in answering any questions you may have without cost or obligation. We can also help you find a qualified attorney, one who will simplify the process for you.

To receive the booklet or personal assistance, contact your local WELS Christian giving counselor.