Kingdom Advisors founder Ron Blue takes an interesting approach to estate planning.  He advocates lifetime giving as a way to assure that the objects of your bounty are worthy recipients of your wealth.  This could play out in a couple of different ways.

Making gifts to your loved ones during your lifetime will enable you to see how your beneficiaries handle new-found wealth.  This could be a great way to “test drive” your estate plan and determine how well it works while you are still able to make adjustments.  If one beneficiary turns out to be a poor steward of your wealth, you can always direct assets to other beneficiaries upon your death.

The same principles apply to charitable gifts.  Your favorite charity could turn out to be a poor manager of donated assets.  It would be far better to find that out during your lifetime than to leave your loved ones regretting your philanthropic choices.  If a charity does what you hope it will do with your gift, you can add to it upon your death.  Not only that, but your gift may have far greater impact the sooner you make it. 

As Ron Blue says, you should consider “giving while you’re living so you’re knowing where it’s going.”  Sound advice for anyone who prefers to test the water before diving in head first.

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