Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Should Christians Have a Will?

Everyone should have a will. Even the penniless Bowery bum should have a will because he might be hit by a bus and his estate might have a claim against the bus company.

The prophet Isaiah told king Hezekiah, "Set your house in order, for you shall die" (2 Kings 20:1). Any person, wealthy or not, male or female, has the privilege under law and custom dating back to Bible times of determining the guardians for his or her children, as well as the privileges they shall enjoy if the maker of the will dies while the children are young. Wills can provide for the care of the wife or husband, and gifts to religious organizations and other charities.

Without a will, the state might apply a rigid set of rules to give the wife only a percentage of an estate, usually one-third, and the children would get the remainder. If there is no surviving husband, wife, or children, the possessions of a lifetime may be given to brothers, sisters, or nieces and nephews. Usually, nothing goes to a charity unless it is designated in a will.

A will is a very simple document to write and to execute. For maximum protection against challenges in any state, a will should be signed and declared to be a last will and testament in the presence of two or three witnesses who are assembled at the signing and who are not beneficiaries under the will.

Without question, a valid will and a thorough estate plan are a vital part of stewardship for every Christian. Wills can be rewritten and re-executed as circumstances change. To write a will does not mean that death will soon follow, as many superstitiously fear.

Excerpt taken from Answers to 200 of Life's Most Probing Questions, Copyright 1984 by Pat Robertson. 

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