Trust Services and Stewardship
What Does the Lord Have in Store for You?
If you have an estate plan, you don’t have to worry.
By Lona Schlisner
When my husband, Lynn, and I married, we began a great adventure.
First, we started a family. Then, after our oldest, Eirik, was born, Lynn went back to school for his theology degree. While he was studying for the ministry, we had the opportunity to travel to Israel. Visiting the Holy Land sounded very exciting, but it was also a bit daunting: It was 1974. Israel was engaged in the Golan Heights conflict, and we would be entering a war zone, leaving two-year-old Eirik behind.
What if something happened to us?
Eirik’s future might rest with whoever had the loudest voice! I wanted to know that Eirik would be raised in a Christian home. So, even though we didn’t have much money, we wrote our first estate plan and named a guardian for Eirik before we left the country.
Since then, we’ve updated our wills every few years.
Our family has changed (two more children came along), and so have our finances. Because we’re secure enough to remember both the church and our children, our estate plan sets aside resources to benefit the Lord’s work. And because we’re aging, we’ve added advance directives for health care, so our family will know our wishes if we become too ill to speak for ourselves.
Seventh-day Adventist Trust Services has been with us through most of this process.
As we moved around the country serving various churches, I worked in a variety of church-related jobs. All of the people we knew best were Conference employees, so we naturally got to know people in Trust Services. They were always very sensitive to our specific needs, and they had the information we needed to accomplish whatever our objectives were at the time.
No one ever pressured us to include the church in our estate plan.
But whenever we had questions about how we could give to causes we loved, Trust Services always had the answers. The fact is, we didn’t need any encouragement. Giving to the church through our estate was second nature, because that’s what we’re passionate about.
Over the years, my love relationship with the Lord has matured.
When Lynn and I wrote our first wills, I was a new Adventist. Now I’ve allowed the Lord to really take control of my life, to take care of me, and I’ve transferred that sense of confidence into our estate plan.
Our estate plan expresses my love of the Lord and my love for my family.
As a mother, you take care of your children from the time they’re born until the time they leave the nest – and beyond. Having an estate plan is a part of that caring. It’s how we face reality and ease a potential crisis our children may have to face.
I don’t know what our future holds 10 minutes from now or 10 years from now – but, because I have an estate plan, it doesn’t matter.
My estate plan relieves my family of the burden of guessing how I’d want my affairs handled by sharing with them my thoughts and feelings about what means
most to me.
In an uncertain world, having an estate plan is really a “no brainer.”
World events can make us feel so uneasy about the future. Estate planning gives you peace of mind. It’s a great feeling knowing that, no matter what happens, everything will be taken care of just the way you would have wanted.
Lona Schlisner is administrative assistant to the treasurer of the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference. She is also active in the greeting and hospitality ministry and occasionally teaches adult Sabbath School Bible study at the Madison Campus Seventh-day Adventist Church, where her husband, Elder Lynn Schlisner, has pastored for nine years. The Schlisners have three adult children: Eirik, Travis and Sissel.
For more information please contact the Trust Services Department at the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference.
We invite you to visit the Southern Union Trust Services website at www.susdagift.com
Or visit the Trust Services website of the General Conference at www.willplan.org
No Obligation, Completely Confidential
When assisted by our Trust Services Department, you will be under no obligation to leave your estate in any certain way. All information used in preparing your estate plan will be completely confidential.