The Power of Planning

May 9, 2014

There are many benefits to working in an organization like Baylor University. Among them is access to expertise in a variety of fields. Over the next few issues, BaylorNews will share information and resources available through University departments  that may be helpful in numerous areas of life and work.

An August 2013 ABC News poll estimates that fewer than half of Americans have a will. This important document can help protect your family and insure that your wishes are fulfilled in the event of your death.

“In creating a will, we take care of those we love,” said Susan Wommack, JD ’89, director of development for Baylor Law School. “We love our family and friends and a will helps us care for them, but there are also nonprofits that we would like to care for as well. These could be churches, educational institutions like Baylor University, or community organizations that have touched our lives or that we see making an impact on others’ lives. You can support such organizations through a bequest. By making such a gift, you’re able to use resources you no longer need as a blessing to others, to help change the world in a large way.”

The Office of Gift Planning in University Development offers a helpful guide that walks you through the process of planning your will. The Wills Guide is a free tool that provides planning steps and questions that help you define your goals before beginning the process. It will also simplify the process and assist you in gathering the information your attorney will need to prepare the appropriate documents that accomplish your goals – without the meter running.

Pages in the guide help you collect pertinent family and financial information, assess and establish goals for your estate and understand the responsibilities of key contacts such as an executor or trustee. Other pages provide steps to assist you in planning for your future healthcare decisions and answer frequently asked questions about the process and terminology that may be unfamiliar to you.

It’s never too early to start planning. In addition to fulfilling your desires for your family, you may want to consider your own Baylor legacy. For example, you may wish to designate a bequest for student scholarships, a chair, a professorship or an area of study. If this is your desire, it is important to contact development to ensure your goals and objectives can be accomplished.

To request your free Baylor Wills Guide, visit, call (254) 710-2561 or email

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