Forget about the words “Will” or “Trust” for a second. Has anyone ever asked how you want to be remembered? Not as a parent, spouse, child, or sibling, but remembered as your own person . . . What sums up your character, values, and life?
I can give a personal example. I have a baseball that sits on my desk and this represents who I am and want to continue to be as a person. It’s not much more than a mile of thin string wrapped around a rubber core and a tattered leather skin, attached by a few strands of frayed red lace. The ball is my personal testament. To this day, my father is one of the hardest working people I have ever met. One day as a child (I was maybe 9 years old at the time), my father told me that ripping the cover off of a baseball couldn’t be done through ordinary use. I respected him and should have believed him, but I was stubborn. Early the next morning, I went outside with one of my brothers and a brand new baseball. We hit each other grounders in the street for 15 straight hours, even when we could barely see the ball under the streetlights. Finally it happened - enough of the laces tore and came loose that the baseball's cover separated from the string core. I was never the brightest kid but I was relentless and determined, and in the end I believe hard work and dedication go further than anything else in this world. The money or assets I will leave behind will be less important to me than sharing this value. This baseball symbolizes how I want to be remembered.
To a second point, did we cheat by using the rough city street to help expedite the process, or did we just find an alternative way to achieve our goal? This question speaks my second person value, which is problem solving.
Almost all attorneys understand what can happen when someone dies without an estate plan. We know the damage that can be done to families and relationships as loved ones try to guess at what the deceased’s last wishes may have been. As an attorney, I am a strong advocate for using an attorney’s services to develop an estate plan. As a practical matter, I also know that many people will fail to build an estate plan because of the cost of an attorney’s services or due to a number of other excuses. People too often push off estate planning because they don't expect to need it in the near future, because it costs too much to hire an attorney, or simply because they don't understand why it is important. Many people overlook estate planning as a key element of Christian financial stewardship.
If you want to begin your estate planning yourself, EPM offers a simple, user-driven system you can use at your own pace. If you use an attorney to create a legal estate plan - Great! . . . but EPM should still play l an essential role your estate planning process. You have a moral duty to arm yourself with essential information. Even exceptional attorneys generally will not provide you with a comprehensive understanding of what Christians mean by “planning your legacy.” I will also challenge that most church leaders and even other estate planning ministries do not fully understand this concept. Through EPM, we want to share what we have learned and our passion for responsible legacy management. I hope you give EPM the chance to play a role in your planning process.
WHO WE ARE
EPM is a ministry devoted to providing people with educational resources and affordable, user-driven tools in furtherance of their estate planning and overall financial stewardship. “Our legacies are more than dollars and cents; a legacy is the totality of all we leave with the world when we depart, monetary assets, values, and hard earned wisdom. EPM believes that in accordance with Biblical Stewardship, every individual is obligated to actively develop and craft his or her legacy.”
WHY CHOOSE US?
#1. Education: EPM offers a variety of free educational resources designed to help individuals take an active role in their estate planning. Our articles and frequently asked questions address a variety of issues and common concerns about estate planning and can help users decide what type of estate plan is best for them.
#2. ADAM: This advanced web-based platform allows users to select and create personalized legal estate planning documents. ADAM is an affordable alternative to expensive legal services or generic cut-and-paste form documents.