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Take Care of your Church

Take Care of your Church

It was the early 1970s in Dallas, among 70,000 other kids, Johnny Cash and Rev. Billy Graham, that Rev. Weldon Bares heard the calling. A lifelong member of the Methodist church, he was a junior in high school when he attended a Campus Crusade for Christ conference that gave him his life's direction.

Seven years later, Weldon was ordained in the United Methodist Church and has now served 38 years and five churches in Louisiana.

He has witnessed the generosity of past generations who have left a bequest in their wills to their churches. He sees the benefit of these gifts, and the legacy that these faithful members have created.

That and his own priorities have led him to include all five churches he has served in his will. He has also included the United Methodist Foundation of Louisiana, where he has been a member of the board for five years and is the 2016-17 Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

For those considering a bequest in their will to their church, Weldon says, "I would recommend that they pray about it and ask God's guidance, but also to visit with their attorney."

Rob Fairly , president of the Foundation added, "Over half of Americans don't have wills, which means that when they die, there's no guarantee who will inherit their assets. And, without a will your estate will go into probate, a costly, slow-moving process courts use to sort things out. We should all do our families a favor and obtain a will. And hopefully, remember your church in your will."

"I want my giving and faithfulness to continue after I have passed on," Weldon added. "I know it sounds trite, but it's true."

Whether your estate is large or small, in Louisiana you need a will to make sure your wishes are carried out. It's one of the easiest gifts to make because you can maintain control of your assets until you no longer need them. If you change your mind, you can draft a new will, or you can amend it with a codicil.

For help with your will planning, contact the Foundation for a free wills guide, "Planning Your Legacy." It will encourage you to think about how you want your assets distributed at death and assist you in gathering information for your attorney. Request one on our website at www.umf.org.


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