Trustees: Bequest and Investments

When someone dies and leaves a pile of cash to the church, what could go wrong? Here’s what can go wrong: the gift can make people act crazy. The craziest part is when people start speaking for the deceased. Not just a wife speaking about what her departed husband would have wanted. Not just a grown child speaking for what their mother would have wanted. You start seeing casual acquaintances who all of a sudden know exactly every single opinion the deceased would have ever had relating to their money.

Does this craziness honor the dead…or the LORD? Of course it doesn’t! Here’s what honors them:

  • Keeping their wishes in writing: This is the only reliable way of knowing what the deceased wanted.
  • Not hoarding the money: I’m guessing they gave the money so that it would be spent in a way that will somehow change lives. Leaving money untouched year after year in a bank account doesn’t change lives.
  • Growing their gift: You can’t grow a gift through a CD, savings account, or money market. Not versus inflation anyway. For large gifts, think about investing.
  • Remembering them publicly: One of the most powerful testimonies is a life well lived. When we use their gift, help people remember the person and the life they lived.

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