Write a new Will or Revocable Living Trust but don’t destroy the old ones. What a mess if older copies are thought to be the most recent documents, new copies aren’t found and your current wishes aren’t carried out.


Rent a safe deposit box to store your estate documents that no one else can access when you are gone. Your personal representative will need to petition the Probate Court to be granted authority to open the bo


Create a Will or Trust but don’t tell your personal representative/ successor trustee where original documents are located. If your Will/Trust isn’t found, your estate will be considered “Intestate” by the state with your assets distributed according to the rules of the Probate Court verses your wishes.


Cross out phrases or write not es on your documents creating questions about whether you meant to amend or revoke them. See your attorney to write an amendment or codicil.


Don’t review your documents and update if necessary, on a regular basis. Are your successor trustees or personal representatives still alive and competent? Do you still want charitable gifts given to the ministries listed? Life happens, what’s important can change. Make sure your plan reflects your current desires for the gifts you have been given.


Trust others to do the “Right thing”. Don’t clearly indicate how you want your estate distributed. Money does strange things to people. Even in the most congenial families, arguments occur over what’s “fair”. Clearly express how you want things handled.


Don’t include a “Charitable Gift” in your plan. Even though your intent was to leave a gift to your favorite ministry, without specific provisions written in your Will or Trust, or a beneficiary designation for the gift, Michigan’s “Estates and Protected Individual Code” doesn’t include charitable gifts as an option through the probate process.


Don’t Have Any Estate Plan. Probate Court will search for “Next of Kin” and distribute your estate according to the laws of the state. This could be especially “fun” for blended families and a great source of income for attorneys as members of the family fight over what they feel is theirs.

This information is provided to assist you in your estate planning process and is not meant to offer financial or legal advice. Please contact your Attorney or Financial Adviser to obtain appropriate professional advice relevant to your particular circumstance

CEF Endowment Fund

When Church Extension Fund established its Endowment Fund it was done in response to the growing number of mission-minded investors and others who wished to demonstrate a greater role in perpetuating the ministry of Church Extension through gifts and bequests.