Step 3: Share

Step 3: Share
“We will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and His mighty wonders.” (Psalm 78:4 NKJV).


Congratulations! You did it! What a great feeling to have your house in order and know that you have blessed your family and honored God with the resources He’s given to you.

Now What?
Use the resources included in this section to multiply the blessing of your Will to you, your family, and the ministries you love.



  • How to Keep Peace in Your Family

    Have you ever played the telephone game? You whisper a message into someone’s ear, which is passed along to a line of people. By the time the last player announces the message, it is so different that everyone is laughing hysterically!

    There are other times in life, of course, where confusion needs to be replaced with clarity. Take your family, for example. If Mom and Dad pass away without a simple Estate Plan, they miss the opportunity to pass along their values and valuables to the next generation with clarity, opening the door for confusion to strain family relationships.

    The good news is that our “God is not a God of confusion, but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33), and we can live in that truth by taking steps to show love to our families and the ministries we care about.

    Some financial advisors recommend that you set up a special place (e.g., a “Legacy File”) where all the documents your family will need are in one place when the time comes. Your Legacy File could include:

    • Financial statements
    • Funeral instructions
    • Insurance information
    • List of your monthly bills
    • Passwords
    • Tax returns
    • Will or Trust
    • Other important documents (i.e. your birth certificate and Social Security card)

    In addition to helping your family keep the peace by communicating your wishes for your valuables, you can also help the next generation carry on your values by including a Legacy Love Letter in your Legacy File. Though not a legal document, a Legacy Love Letter is a written blessing to your family where you can express:

    • Beliefs and values about God, children, marriage, and money
    • Life lessons passed down from previous generations
    • Message of hope and encouragement for the future
    • Favorite Bible verses that have been meaningful to you

    By creating a Legacy File, you’ll provide your family with helpful tools they need to carry out your desires in an orderly and peaceful way.

  • Purpose of a Legacy Love Letter

    A Legacy Love Letter (sometimes referred to as an “Ethical Will”) is a document that traces its origins to Genesis 49:1-33, when a dying Jacob gathered his sons to offer them his blessing.

    Because a Legacy Love Letter is not a legal document, and is not made for the purpose of distributing assets, the content and form of your letter is up to you. Here are three themes you may wish to cover in your Legacy Love Letter:

    • Beliefs and Values. What do you believe about God? What are your guiding principles when it comes to marriage, raising children, church and ministry, handling money, etc.?
    • Life Lessons. What were some of the defining moments of your life, and what did you learn from them? What experiences and people are you most grateful for?
    • Message of Hope. What are some of the most meaningful passages of Scripture to you? What message of hope and encouragement do you wish to leave to your family and friends?

    Dear Children,

    We came across a beautiful passage in our quiet time with the Lord recently in Psalm 16 that says, "The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; yes, I have a good inheritance." That verse prompted some heart-stirring conversations that we'd like to share with you.

    We are so thankful for the "good inheritance" we have received from the Lord. As we grow older, we want each of you to know how much we love you and deeply appreciate the many ways you have enriched our lives. We're especially pleased at the many evidences of the Lord's blessings in your lives. And we want you to know that the greatest pleasure you could give us is to pass on to your children, as we have tried to do with you, that same commitment to live all of life motivated by love for God and neighbor.

    We see our Will as an ongoing testimony of our love for the Lord and for you, and that is reflected in the way we have divided our estate among you and the ministries we love. We hope that when the time comes, someone would read Psalm 16, as an encouragement for our family to continue serving the Lord with gladness for generations to come.

    We love you,
    Mom and Dad

  • Setting Up Your Legacy File

    Make it easy for your loved ones to locate the documents they'll need when the time comes with a Legacy File that includes the following:

    • Duplicate Copy.
      If you create a duplicate copy of your Legacy File for your executor and for a safe deposit box, you should provide contact and location information.
    • Finances.
      Provide a list of bank accounts, CDs, mutual funds, and other investments with institution names, account names, and account numbers.
    • Funeral Instructions.
      Provide details about your wishes for the funeral service, funeral home, & burial arrangements.
    • Important Documents.
      Create a “catch-all” file for all other important documents your family may need such as birth certificates, Social Security cards, titles, etc.
    • Insurance.
      Create a single file with all insurance information – including auto, home, life, health, disability, etc. List the company name, policy numbers, and contact information.
    • Monthly Budget.
      Include a copy of your monthly budget to help your family keep track of bills and run your household once you are gone.
    • Passwords. If you’re like most people, you have probably have a large and growing list of passwords, usernames, and PIN numbers for your bank accounts, websites, voicemail, and more. Make a list of these important access codes in a single file.
    • Spiritual Will.
      A Legacy Love Letter from you expressing your love for Christ and your family, and communicating your values, life lessons, and beliefs.
    • Tax Returns.
      It is recommended that you keep up to 7 years of tax returns on file in the event that you are audited by the IRS. This precaution will spare your family from a lot of unnecessary hassle if you are no longer around.
    • Will.A signed copy of your Will, including information about guardianship, beneficiaries, executor, power of attorney, financial accounts, and charitable interests.

    Source: Selected concepts based on the Legacy Drawer at

  • Beneficiary Designation

    A beneficiary designation is a statement of what charity or individual you want to receive the balance of an account after you pass away. Virtually any account can be transferred by beneficiary designation, including checking, savings, investment accounts, retirement accounts, and life insurance, etc. Beneficiary designations on each account help protect your assets from loss or misuse. For more information, review our Beneficiary Designation Fact Sheet.


    Here are just a few of the many good resources to help you think wisely as a steward of what God has entrusted to you. These are available through various web sites or at a Christian bookstore:

    • Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn.
      Discover a revolution in material freedom and radical generosity that has changed lives around the world.
    • The Eternity Portfolio by Alan Gotthardt.
      Biblical teaching with a unique investment framework offers fresh, practical how-tos for strategic, joyful giving. A motivating and practical book.
    • Stewardship Study Bible.
      A variety of engaging features to help you explore what it means to be a manager entrusted with God’s resources.
    • Splitting Heirs by Ron Blue.
      A proven road map for passing money on to the next generation applying Biblical principles and experience-tested wisdom.
    • Experience God as Your Provider by Brian Kluth.
      Real-life stories of God’s provision offer you help and hope regardless of your financial situation.
    • Generous Giving.
      A website full of stories, resources, videos, and more aimed at building the faith and joy of givers.
  • Next Steps In Your Journey

    An up-to-date Will is one of the best gifts you can leave for your loved ones and the ministries you love such as Samaritan’s Purse. But for many, the journey has just begun! Here are other ways that friends of Samaritan’s Purse have extended their impact for the cause of Christ:

    1. 1: Reduce My Estate Taxes
      Good news! The estate tax exemption is now over $5.4 million per person – which means most Americans are no longer concerned about estate taxes because their assets fall below that threshold. If your assets are more than $5 million, there are several things you can do to reduce your estate taxes – here are three of the most common strategies:
      • Give non-cash assets (e.g., stocks, bonds, real estate) or cash assets to family members during life up to the annual gift-tax exemption amount to reduce the size of the estate. This is also a good way to begin sharing stewardship lessons with family members as you provide the gifts and observe/interact with them about making wise financial choices.
      • Designate your tax-deferred assets (e.g., retirement funds, variable annuities) directly to ministry organizations. These gifts are fully deductible in your estate and completely avoid income tax since the ministries are tax-exempt.
      • Create an estate plan by consulting with a qualified estate planning attorney.
      • Use advanced estate planning techniques. For example, you might consider using gift planning vehicles such as a Charitable Remainder Trust or a Charitable Lead Trust where you transfer assets into a trust. Contact our office for more information.
    2. 2: Establish A Gift Annuity To Increase Your Current Income and Get a Tax Deduction
      A Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA) is a simple concept: you make a $5,000 or greater gift to Samaritan’s Purse (part of which is tax deductible), and then you receive fixed annuity payments each year for life with attractive payout rates (set according to your age). Get more information, or Contact our office to initiate a gift.
    3. 3: Reduce My Taxes Now with My Charitable Giving
      Asset-based giving is a tax-smart way to extend your impact on the cause of Christ. This would include gifts of stocks, real estate, life insurance, fractional business interests, and other securities. If you are over 70 ½, check to see if current law allows for a tax-free charitable rollover gift from your IRA. Giving assets instead of cash results in:
      • Reduced taxes. By donating non-cash assets first – rather than selling them first, paying taxes and giving the net proceeds– you typically receive a tax deduction for the full fair-market value of your gift, as well as avoid capital gains taxes.
      • More to ministry. The capital gains taxes you save from giving the asset directly to charity means more goes to support the work of Christian causes, instead of going to the government.
      • Create an estate plan by consulting with a qualified estate planning attorney.
      • Personal savings. Because you receive the full tax deduction for the fair-market value of the asset, you’ll see great savings on your personal income tax returns. This means more money stays in your pocket for your lifestyle expenses and additional giving.

      Many individuals have chosen to give appreciated assets to ministry with a “donor advised fund.” This technique may help simplify your giving by allowing you to make a single contribution, and then prayerfully decide which organizations and ministry projects you'd like to support now or later. We recommend National Christian Foundation for donor-advised fund giving.

      Did you find what you were looking for? Feel free to contact us if you need help with next steps.