What are the Benefits of Planned Giving for My Family?
I recently finished my first will, as did my husband (in Wisconsin, where we live, individual wills are required). I included provisions for giving to some specific organizations after paying for the care of our son, should I die while he is still a minor. The completion of the will, along with the planned giving portion, was a huge weight off my shoulders—especially since it’s been on my to-do list since he was born nearly two years ago.
However, planned giving wasn’t something I initially envisioned putting in my will. I assumed, as many young(er) people do, that it wasn’t worth including until I’m older and more established. But the more I thought about it, researched the topic, and—yep, I’ll admit it—planned for this blog post, the more obvious it seemed to me.
Why wouldn’t I include planned giving in my will?
There are 3 main benefits of planned giving I can see for my family:
- It becomes routine for my children to see us give, so it influences their character.
- We’re planning for giving in retirement—so we can easily work giving into our financial plan.
- I have made the giving easy for my family after I die.
Let’s break down the logic behind each of these.
Amelia and Rick just got done writing their will and boy do they look happy! Be like Amelia and Rick and set up your will today.
Giving Becomes Routine
Because I put time into researching the people and organizations I give to now, while I’m alive, it makes sense that I’d include many of these same people and organizations in my will. And putting them in my will only solidifies my commitment to them today. I find myself giving to them more consciously, reading about them, and making sure the donations they receive are being used to address causes that best align with my personal values.
Because of this heightened connection I now have with these organizations, I find myself talking about giving more because I am excited about the work being done. I believe this will have a positive effect on my family, and on my kiddo in particular. My prayer is that he grows to be an empathetic, kind, and generous adult—and I also pray that he’s observing the giving we’re doing now so it becomes routine and normal to him.
Financial Planning is Simpler
My husband and I are already looking ahead to retirement. We’re only 30-ish (okay, fine, 32) but we’ve found it’s nearly impossible to hit a goal we’re not aiming at. Financial security in retirement is one of those goals. Not a bad goal to have, right?
I find that I’m a lot less anxious about the future if I start dreaming about it in technicolor—imagining the things we want to do, the places we want to go, and the people we want to be surrounded by. Once I have that crystal clear image in my head, I do all I can to make that dream a reality.
And one of the biggest things we want to do is give: give to everything and everyone. By going through the exercise of dreaming BIG about our future, it’s easier to know what needs to happen financially along the way to make that a reality. And it won’t end when we die; we’ll be able to continue our charitable giving through planned giving in our wills, which means the blessings God gives us in this life will be used to make an impact for generations to come.
Easier Grieving Process for My Family
I believe the number one benefit of planned giving for my family is that the work is done for them. They don’t need to guess. When I die, which statistically happens to 100% of people, I don’t want my wishes to be a burden for them. Part of those wishes includes planned giving—spelling out, in my will, exactly who should receive what. This pre-planning will, I hope, help during the grieving process. They’ll know exactly what I wanted and won’t need to spend time guessing or being frustrated. It’s there in black and white for them to read. Instead of spending time on legal documents and end-of-life preparation, they can have space to reflect on the comforting promise of eternal life.
Some of my reasons for planned giving might appear to be rooted in selfishness because I like to try to control the outcome of my giving and finances. But then I remember that God has given us our gifts to manage for Him. The parable of the talents comes to mind. God doesn’t want us to bury our talents—or wealth—in the sand. He wants us to manage it for the good of His kingdom so that even more people would come to know His love and salvation. And that’s the ultimate motivation of planned giving for my family.
Planned giving lets you care for yourself, your family, and generations for years to come.
If planned giving is new to you or your family, I encourage you to check out our Christian Guide to Planned Giving Under 40. You can also feel free to reach out to our team with any questions.