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The Nazarene Foundation has made it possible for you to start your estate plan with a free will planning tool. Our partners have developed a simple online interview process that will help you complete many necessary documents online and for free. We recommend that you take your documents to a local attorney for review before you sign any document.Start My Will
Christian Stewardship is about caring for everything that God entrusts to us: our health, our time, our families, our gifts, our homes, and our finances. We believe that good stewardship includes developing a plan for who will steward those resources after our lives are over.
Simply put, an estate plan is a plan to "bless others with your stuff when you don't need it anymore." Jesus reminds us of the importance of this plan in the Parable of the Forgetful Farmer (Luke 12:13-21), when God says to the farmer "This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?" (Lk. 12:20)
We believe that it's good stewardship to have an estate plan that outlines how your assets will be distributed at the end of your life. It's bad stewardship to ask the state to make those decisions on your behalf. However, for the countless people without an estate plan, that's exactly what will happen.
The Nazarene Foundation wants to help every Nazarene have an adequate estate plan for their situation. As our gift to you, we are pleased to announce that we have partnered with an organization to make it possible for Nazarenes in the United States to complete a free and online will planning process. Those with simple estates should be able to draft a will (or California Revocable Trust) in under an hour, that they can take to a local attorney for review. Those with more complicated estates can continue to download our free "Christian Guide to Wills & Trusts" workbook to help them prepare to meet with an attorney.
Our partners have developed a program that will create a free and legal will in all fifty states. You'll also be able to create durable powers of attorney for finances or health care. And if you live in California, you can draft a Revocable Living Trust. The Nazarene Foundation does not provide legal services, and its representatives cannot provide legal, financial, or tax advice. Please consult a local professional advisor for advice specific to your situation.Start My Will
Why is the Nazarene Foundation providing this service?
Part of our mission is to help Nazarenes be good stewards of their resources. Good stewardship includes careful and prayerful distribution of estate assets at death. Studies tell us that 67% of Americans do not have an adequate estate plan. We want to help Nazarenes be good stewards of their estate assets. We also want to make it simple for generous Nazarenes to bless their local church or favorite Nazarene ministry through a bequest or beneficiary assignment.
Who is creating the documents?
Our partners at FreeWill have developed an online computer program that guides you through an interview process and drafts your will based on your responses. By using the service, you acknowledge certain terms and conditions related to your use of the FreeWill service. FreeWill is created by a team of attorneys who want to channel resources into charities, ministries, and other non-profit organizations.
What about Powers of Attorney?
The online program will also help you draft Powers of Attorney for finances and health care.
Why does the online will tool suggest a charitable gift?
Our partners at FreeWill have developed this tool with the goal of propelling resources into charitable organizations. Studies show that the most common charitable bequest is a 10% gift. This is a default option, but you can adjust or delete the gift or change the recipient.
Why does the default gift go to the Nazarene Foundation instead of my church or the denomination?
We find that it simplifies estate preparation, execution, and facilitation for gifts to be left THROUGH the Foundation. The Foundation is the agent for all estate gifts left to the denomination and denominational ministries. The Foundation has certain expertise related to accounting, communication, and facilitation. The Foundation is willing to serve as a custodial beneficiary for any Nazarene ministry entity, as well as many 501c3 organizations that are in harmony with the mission of the church.
What if I wish to leave a gift to support the work of the Nazarene Foundation?
While the Foundation does not actively solicit gifts for our ministry, we are grateful for those partners who wish to support our work through a current or planned gift. You are welcome to leave a gift to the Foundation with no additional designation.
What will the service cost me?
The cost of the online service has been paid for by the Nazarene Foundation. You can utilize the service at no cost to you. We recommend that you print the documents off and have them reviewed by your attorney before executing them. Certain documents may also need to be notarized. You will be responsible for any costs associated with legal review and/or notarization.
Do I need to see an attorney?
The Nazarene Foundation does not offer legal advice or counsel. We recommend that you have a qualified legal professional review any document before you execute it. More complicated estates may need the full service of an estate planning professional.
Will this service help me make a Living or Revocable Trust?
At this time FreeWill can only create Revocable Trusts in California. If you live in another state and are looking to bypass probate or extend control over your assets beyond your lifetime, you will likely need the assistance of an attorney.
What sorts of charitable gifts can I leave through my will?
You can use your estate plan to leave gifts to nearly any individual or organization that you'd like to support. If you'd like to utilize the Nazarene Foundation as a custodial beneficiary, please note that we can only receive gifts on behalf of 501c3 organizations that are in harmony with the mission of the Church of the Nazarene. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Do I have to leave a charitable bequest in order to use the service?
Neither the Foundation nor FreeWill requires you to leave a charitable bequest in order to use the service.
Can a Foundation representative help me or review my documents?
Foundation Representatives are not able to provide legal, tax, or financial advice. If you have a technical question about using the service, you can call our office (913.577.2983). If you'd like to explore the best way to word a charitable bequest, create an endowment, or utilize other gift planning options, please contact us.
What if I wish to leave a gift to my local church??
We joyfully facilitate gifts to your local church. To leave a gift to your local church through the Foundation, choose "Name a Designation" in the "Residuary" portion of the online questionnaire. In response to the question "I'd like my gift to be used in support of…" enter the full name of your church (i.e. Mountain Springs True Life Community Church of the Nazarene). If you'd like to make an additional recommendation on how the gift is used, you can do so in the "Optional Message" section. A similar process is used in the "Beneficiary Plan" section of the interview.
What if I have other questions?
Please contact the Foundation at email@example.com with any questions you may have about this service. We are happy to be of service.