Leaving a Legacy



"Thank you again, you didn't just give me a Bible, you gave me life and a way out. It's the best present I have ever been given!"

School pupil, age 14.

The Gideons International can help more and more people find true life in Jesus, because people like you provide funds in their Will for the work of The Gideons.

"Will You?"

You may think you are too young to make a Will... or not wealthy enough! Actually most of us underestimate what we will leave behind.

Perhaps you have never given it a thought. However, the best time to make a Will is now, as soon as you have become aware of the need to prepare for the future of your family and friends, and the good causes you care about.

The purpose of this section is to answer some of the questions you may have regarding making a Will.

"I Will ... "

Q What does a Will do?

A It sets out your wishes regarding financial provision for your dependents and gifts to anyone else. It can also include personal instructions regarding funeral arrangements, the appointment of executors (that is, the people who will see that your wishes are carried out), and the naming of guardians for your children, if applicable.

Q When should I make a Will?

A Why not do it now? Many people put off making a Will through apathy, or from a vague belief that "I've nothing much to leave", or that "All my money will go to the people closest to me anyway", or else through a subconscious feeling that making a Will brings death closer. The time to make a Will is now, when you have the opportunity to think through the whole question of organising your affairs, so that your loved ones will be spared as much anxiety and uncertainty as possible after your death.

Q What if I don't make a Will?

A Failing to make a Will can leave your dependents with a lot of unnecessary problems at a time when they need all the support and help they can get. The rules of intestacy will decide for you how the money and property you leave are distributed and this may not be in the way that you would have chosen.

Q What if I have already made my Will?

A It is good that you have already attended to this, but it is still a good idea to review your instructions every few years, especially if your circumstances change. If you have already got a Will you are happy with and wish only to add some extra instructions, then it can be done quite simply in what is called a "codicil". Your Solicitor or Financial Adviser will tell you more about this.

"... seek God's Will ..."

Q Does the Bible say anything about Wills?

A Yes, indeed! In 1 Timothy 5:8, "If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." Galatians 6:10 encourages Christians to "do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." Your Will is the one opportunity in life to distribute all your possessions where they will do the most good, without any thought of self.

Q What about giving something to The Gideons?

A This is an excellent opportunity to do just that. Surprisingly only about 15% of Wills include a bequest to any charity, yet such bequests are quite straightforward and are entirely free of Inheritance Tax. Why not take advantage of this important concession and include provision in your Will for a gift to The Gideons?

Q Why The Gideons?

A Because the primary aim of this Association is to help others find faith in the Lord Jesus Christ through reading God's Word. You will no doubt have seen evidence of this work in hotels, hospitals, homes for the elderly, and doctors' and dentists' waiting rooms - just some of the areas where The Gideons place Scriptures. The Gideons International now has a ministry in over 190 countries throughout the world and gives away well over a million copies of the Scriptures every week. A steady flow of letters arriving at Gideons National Office testify to the blessings received by people of all ages and in all walks of life. A bequest to The Gideons International will be an investment in time and eternity.

"... in my Will"

Q How do I go about making a Will?

A Write down the names of those you would like to inherit your money and property if you were to die within the next few years. Make a note of any items you would want particular relatives or friends to have. Make a list of your principal assets and try to estimate how much your overall estate is worth and then make a note of how much you would want to leave to each individual and charity.

Then make an appointment to see a Solicitor or Financial Adviser with your notes, together with these questions and answers if you wish.

If you have any further questions about how your gift will be used to help win the lost for the Lord Jesus Christ then please feel free to contact Martin Lowdon, the Finance Manager, or any of the team at National Office. However, please understand that we are not able to give personal financial or legal advice.