Step 2: Engage

Step 2: Engage
“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10 NKJV).

Now it’s time to prepare your plan and get the help you need to complete your will.

1: Collect Your Important Information.
Our Legacy Planning Worksheet can help. Download and print your guide here. This will assist in organizing your information and objectives. It also could save time and money when you go to the attorney’s office.

2: Make An Appointment With An Attorney.
A qualified attorney is in the best position to know the laws of your state and to advise you on how best to accomplish what you want to do. Many estate plans can avoid or reduce unnecessary taxes on IRAs or other tax-deferred assets with a well-considered plan, especially if you include the Lord’s work in your plan. In some states, probate can be expensive and time-consuming, and a living trust can be a good idea. Generally, a trust also is a good idea if you own real property in more than one state. There are numerous factors to consider, and a wise attorney can be very helpful.

Some people don’t have a Will because they are concerned about the attorney’s fee. It might be less than you think, and you should feel free to ask him or her for an estimate in advance. Think of this as an investment that will almost certainly pay a nice return in the future. You’ll have the peace of mind that your will or estate plan will be effective when the time comes. We have seen too many situations where folks saved money up-front by not using an attorney, but there were problems with the plan they left that created unnecessary costs and delays when the estate was administered. Those cases are like the old oil filter commercial on T.V. A mechanic was standing beside a broken-down engine and said, “Pay me now” (as he held up a filter), “or pay me later” (as he looked at the engine).

If you don’t know an attorney, you might consider looking in the directory of the Christian Legal Society, or check with your pastor or a business friend or acquaintance.

3: What About Online Wills?
Several companies sell software and online services that many people apparently are buying to write their own will and other legal documents. While we much prefer to see Wills written by attorneys, if you do decide to write your own will using one of these services, here is sample language if you desire to designate a gift from your estate to Samaritan’s Purse:

I give __ % of the residue of my estate to Samaritan’s Purse, a North Carolina non-profit corporation located in Boone, NC, with Federal Tax ID # 58-1437002 to be used (you may designate “where most needed” or designate a Specific Project). In the event the need for this project(s) has abated or cannot fully utilize the gift, it may be used for a similar project with pressing need.

The foregoing information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal or tax advice. Donors are encouraged to seek such counsel.

Our Exact Corporate Name: Samaritan’s Purse
Our Federal Tax ID# 58-1437002


  • Sample Bequest Language
  • Leaving a gift in your Will to a ministry that you love is a great expression of your Christian faith. If you would like to do this, consider including this language in your Estate Plans:

    General Support
    If you want to support the overall mission of the ministry organizations dear to your heart, please use the following language:

    “I give _______ % of the residue of my estate to Samaritan’s Purse, a North Carolina non-profit corporation located in Boone, NC, with Federal Tax ID #58-1437002 to be used where most needed.”

    Specific Project
    If you want to support a specific project fund of the ministry organizations dear to your heart, use the following language:

    “I give_______ % of the residue of my estate to Samaritan’s Purse, a North Carolina non-profit corporation located in Boone, NC, with Federal Tax ID #58-1437002 to be used for (name project). In the event the need for this project has abated or cannot fully utilize the gift, it may be used for a similar project with pressing need.”

  • Do I Need an Attorney to Make a Will
  • There is no legal requirement that a Will be drawn up by an attorney. Some people use fill-in-the-blank legal documents, computer programs, or online Will services to take care of basic concerns such as leaving their property to loved ones and naming a guardian for young children. However, there are a number of situations where it would be highly recommended to work with an attorney instead of trying to do it yourself:

    • If you have significant assets.
    • If you have a special-needs, disabled, or dependent adult child.
    • If you’ve been divorced or re-married.
    • If you think one of your heirs might contest your Will.
    • If you own a business.
    • If you are concerned about guardianship issues for minor children.
    • If you’re raising grandchildren or stepchildren.
    • If you have questions about your Will or the Online form doesn't address your situation.

    Online Wills aren’t for everyone. In fact, even if you get an Online Will, we recommend that you consider having an attorney review it for accuracy and issues you may not have considered.

  • How Do I Find an Attorney?
  • Here are some possible sources:

    1: Christian Legal Society.
    You can go online for a directory of Christian attorneys who are members of the Christian Legal Society. Their website lists attorneys by city and state. Not all their members write Wills, so you’ll want to choose “Wills/trusts/estate planning” from the drop-down menu you’ll see on the site.

    2: Your Pastor.
    Your Pastor may know a qualified estate planning attorney. Even if he doesn’t know a Christian attorney, he can ask others for a referral because of his position.

    3: A Friend or Business Acquaintance.
    Accountants, bankers, insurance agents, business owners, realtors, and other trusted business people may be able to help you with a referral.

    4: Contact Us.
    Over the years, we have become acquainted with a number of Christian attorneys, though not in every state. You can contact us to see if we can help with an attorney referral near you. Call our Legacy Planning department at 833-345-3422 or email

  • Including the Lord's Work in Your Will
  • Here are the most common ways to significantly increase your ministry impact through your Will:

    • Add "Ministry" to your family. Some families treat ministry organizations like an additional child. For example, if a family has three children, they might add a fourth child named "Ministry" and divide the assets in their Will into four equal parts. Each of their children would receive 25%, and the remaining 25% would be divided among their favorite ministry organizations.
    • Tithe on your Estate. Other families commit a 10% tithe of their estate to the ministry organizations they love, dividing the remaining 90% among their heirs.
    • Leave the remainder. Others prayerfully decide how much is wise to leave their loved ones, designating the rest of their assets to advance the Lord’s work here and around the world.
    • Update an existing Will. An attorney can add, delete, or change an item in your Will with an additional statement called a "codicil."

      "I give __% of the residue of my estate to (church or ministry name) whose address is (city, state, zip code) with Federal Tax ID # (xx-xxxxxxx).”

      Like a Will, a codicil must be dated, signed, and witnessed.