Planning for the Future

“Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?” – Proverbs 27:23-24

“For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.” – II Corinthians 12:14

Scripture clearly teaches the principle of planning for the future, and making preparations to care for succeeding generations. Missionaries often focus so much attention on getting to the field and the resources needed for ministry, that they forget about this important area. We daily focus on telling others about the brevity of life. As we encourage others to plan for their eternal future, let us not forget to plan for our earthly future.

Practical steps you can take to ensure peace of mind for your family:

1 – Make a Will
    • You and your spouse should have individual wills, which include instructions if you are survived by your spouse, or if you and your spouse both pass at the same time.
    • Decide who will be your executor.
    • Decide who will care for your children.
    • Decide who will receive your belongings.
    • Decide what items will go to specific individuals (wedding rings, family heirlooms, etc.).
    • Decide on amount(s) to give to charity.
    • Decide who will care for pets.
    • Be sure all names in the will are spelled correctly to avoid delays.
    • Do not sign your wills until you are in the presence of a notary public, and two competent witnesses unrelated to you who are not beneficiaries to the will!
2 – Prepare Other Legal Documents
    • Designate Power of Attorney(s) to handle financial matters.
    • Designate Power of Attorney(s) for health matters.
    • Consider having your spouse as a co-signer on all financial accounts.
    • Consider having your spouse as a co-owner on all vehicles and property.
3 – Obtain Life Insurance
    • Consider funds to cover funeral expenses and possible repatriation of remains.
    • Consider the possibility of moving your family home from the field.
    • Consider any one time expenses you wish to fund, such as paying off any outstanding debt.
    • Consider income to help your family into the future.
4 – Consider Funeral Preparations
    • What can you record that will be helpful to loved ones who will need to make difficult decisions during an emotional time?
    • Where do you wish to be buried?
    • Are there specific verses or songs that are special to you?
    • What are significant dates in your life, including your salvation and call to service?
    • Do you have a preference for a tombstone? 
5 – Create a Legacy Drawer
    • This is a single location to store all important documents.
    • Include a list of all financial accounts, with account numbers, contact information for the financial institutions, and passwords to access online details.
    • Include documents such as Birth Certificates, Social Security Cards, Passports, Wedding License, Deeds, Titles, etc.  If originals are in a safety deposit box, include copies and details of how to locate originals.
    • Include copies of tax documents for prior years, as well as the name and contact information for your tax preparer.
    • Include passwords, combinations, usernames, PINs, etc.  Be sure to include information about your online presence such as social media accounts and personal websites.
    • Click here to view Dave Ramsey’s complete article for more details.
6 – Plan for Emergencies
    • Ensure that someone close to you on the field has a way to contact your family, sending pastor, or the mission agency in the event that something happens to both you and your spouse.
    • Keep the contact information for the local Embassy easily accessible.    
    • Review your health insurance coverage on a regular basis: Have you had major life changes? Do you have sufficient coverage for all family members? Do you have policy coverage both in the US and overseas? 
    • Outline an evacuation strategy: How will you pay for it? Where could you go if needed? How could you travel? If you need to evacuate by car, do you know what route(s) to take?  
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