A favorite line of mine from an Academy award-winning movie that captures the essence of estate planning is: “What we do in life echoes in eternity.”
Whether it’s when we leave our children for Heaven or the time for our church has run its course, our impact can continue.
Last year, a dear friend who was a widower went to be with the Lord. Her wishes were
to both take care of her struggling daughter and to give to the Lord. As a lawyer, I strive to develop solutions, and for my friend, I had one: a charitable gift annuity or “CGA.” The CGA accomplished three goals for her child: (1) a lifetime stream of income for support no matter how long her daughter lived; (2) the source of the income is asset protected (neither her child nor anyone else could get to the source of the income); and (3) an income that is asset-backed – by the full faith and credit of The Baptist Foundation of California. One bonus for her daughter would be getting checks to remind her of her mother and her mother’s blessing for the rest of her days. Then, when her daughter passes, the balance remaining in the gift annuity will fund Southern Baptist ministry, echoing my friend’s legacy into eternal impact.
Similarly, what struck me as strikingly similar was a “church legacy plan” that recently came to fruition. A local church concluded that while their time as an independent body of Believers had passed, their ability to impact the Kingdom had not. The members of this small congregation faithfully served a community from a far different religious tradition. Their ministry needed to take a different form to continue to reach these people. As is the case with nearly all churches, the church building was their most beneficial asset. So, to bring up the next generation and allow for strategic use of God’s provision, the church building was sold, and the proceeds were placed into a permanent endowment. Endowments, which are effectively permanent trust funds for ministry, will generate income every year for targeted ministry objectives to achieve the highest Kingdom impact. In other words, to send an echo into eternity.
If you would like to create your legacy, The Foundation can offer you a free personal consultation or an estate planning seminar for your church. To learn more, contact us at or 909-738-4000.