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Oct 26, 2016

The Australian Army began recruiting dogs to track alongside soldiers during the Vietnam War. Journalist and veteran Peter Haran says he owes his life to one such dog named Caesar. In August 1967, Caesar and Haran were leading a team of men when the dog, “Suddenly stopped tracking, returned to me and sat on my foot. At that very second a mine behind me detonated, seriously wounding five men and almost knocking me out.” After recovering from the shock, “trained engineers walked ahead of me and found a huge, unexploded bomb wired to other mines.” Even though he was only trained to track people, Caesar had detected the mine. (Story adapted from “My Dog Saved Me.”)

Today we would never think of going into a minefield unprepared! But over 70 percent of Americans are doing it every single day by not creating an estate plan. When you create or update your Will, you help your family avoid potential landmines like:

Unexpected cost. Without a Will, the court is forced to intervene, incurring negative impact to the value of an estate, probate costs, and certain taxes.
Family stress. An estate plan simplifies the process. Without one, pressure is added to everyone, often making relationships difficult.
Missed opportunities. A Will ensures your family and loved ones are taken care of and can appreciate your legacy. It’s also a great way to bless a ministry, like Bethany Christian Services, that you care about.

There has been a lot of news recently of a high profile musician who appears to have died without a Will, leaving an estate worth more than $300 million in limbo. This is a sobering reminder for us all. Concerning the complicated matter, legal analyst Dan Abrams said bluntly, “If you have $300-$500 million or $3,000-$5,000 you have to write a Will. Otherwise you’re going to create a mess for the family… and no one will know exactly what you wanted.”

We want to help you avoid potential landmines and experience peace through an up-to-date Will. “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” (Romans 14:19 NIV).