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Tending the Vine

Everence is a financial services company based on the idea that it is possible to incorporate your faith and values with you decisions about money.  We do this to follow the biblical instruction to be good stewards.

I am the vine; you are the branches.

- John 15:5

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Everence Resource of the Month

No matter how large or how small your estate, a will should be one of your first acts of stewardship. It is your chance to care for those you love:  your family, your friends and your church.

Who needs a will?
Every adult should have a will. If you
die without a will, the laws of your
state will determine how your assets
are distributed. That might not be in
accordance with your wishes and sometimes creates extra expenses and taxes.

Your Will
An act of Christian stewardship

You may designate someone to
represent you after your death. These representatives can include:

• an executor or personal                       representative who works with your            attorney to settle your estate.

• a guardian nominated to care for
  minor or dependent children.

• a trustee, such as Everence Trust
  Company, who manages the assets
  of any trust your will may establish.

How to write a will

Writing a will is a task for a trained
professional. Mennonite Foundation
recommends consulting an attorney
who can express your wishes in proper legal language. Most attorneys will write a simple will for a reasonable fee. For large estates, it may help to include a Certified Public Accountant as part of your estate planning team.

You should choose alternates for each of the people named above in case the first person named cannot serve.

It may also be helpful to consult a
Mennonite Foundation representative  before seeing an attorney or accountant.  We can help you with your estate  planning objectives with a Christian
perspective in mind.

Here are some examples:

• If a spouse with young           children survives,  the entire estate     should generally go to the surviving     spouse.

• If both parents die and minor children     survive, only the children should benefit   from the estate, in most cases.


• You determine how your assets will be       handled, not state laws.
• You, not a judge, select people
   to care for your minor children.
• Plan for a business or farm to
   remain in the family.
• Provide for special family needs.
• Extend your Christian stewardship
   values beyond your lifetime.

• When your youngest child becomes
independent, you may wish to
designate a larger portion of your
estate to charity.
• Special provisions should be made
for handicapped children.

Your survivors may benefit through the establishment of a testamentary trust.  A trust is an excellent way to provide for minor children if both parents die. It can also be used to save death taxes in larger estates, to provide for handicapped or spendthrift children, or to manage assets left to a surviving spouse.

Another common provision in most
wills is for a “common disaster” in 

which both parents or an entire  family dies. If parents die leaving  minor children, the estate is generally left to the children, often in the form of a testamentary trust which can be administered by Everence Trust Company.  You may wish to designate a portion or all of your estate to charity if the entire family dies.

How to provide for loved ones

The economic needs of your survivors
is a primary concern when writing a
will, and these needs change over time.  Mennonite Foundation recommends that need be a major consideration in deciding how your estate should be distributed.


What to consider
While there is no legal document called
a “Christian will,” there are certain
things that distinguish a Christian’s will.
Here are some.
• Use the opportunity to witness to
  your Christian faith. You might use
  an opening paragraph to express
  your relationship to God.

• Include statements indicating that
  writing a will is more than a routine
  business transaction.

• Make fair, sensible and adequate
  provisions for loved ones in keeping
  with their needs and the size of your

• Record your wishes on such matters
  as who should receive specific family
  heirlooms and keepsakes.

• Don’t forget the church. A convenient
  way to leave assets to charity is
  through Mennonite Foundation. You
  make a single bequest through your
  will, then we distribute the funds
  to the approved charities you have
  recommended on a charitable gift
  distribution form, which we provide.

When to review your will

A will should not be a static document.
It should change as your situation in life
changes. Here are some suggestions on
when you should review your will.

• Every three to four years.

• If your marital status changes.

• If you have children.

• When your children become

• If you move from one state to another.

• If a significant financial change occurs.

• When tax laws change.

• If you want to change an executor,
  trustee or guardian.

• If you want to change the charities you       choose to support.

Act today!

For more information, contact
your Mennonite Foundation
representative. You can also call
us toll free at (800) 348-7468.
We’ll show you how a will can
become an expression of your
Christian faith.

To Contact Everence

Christian Fellowship Church

Naubinway & Rexton Campus:

 Kelly Roth 906-477-6123



To Contact Everence

1110 N. Main St.

P.O. Box 483

Goshen, IN  46527




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