There are good reasons to develop such a policy. You don’t want a member of your congregation to decide not to give a gift in their will because the last time the church received a bequest it caused a big disagreement! Every session in every congregation should develop clear policies for how to handle legacy gifts so future gifts are always a blessing, rather than a source of conflict.
If your congregation does not have such a policy in place, now is a good time to begin thinking about how you will handle planned gifts. It is much better to work through such policies before your congregation receives such a gift. This helps the discussion focus on the congregation’s vision of ministry, rather than personalities. A policy can also provide the foundation for promoting legacy gifts, helping donors to see how their gifts will be received, invested and used. Creating a new legacy giving policy, or updating the one you have, provides the perfect opportunity to let your members know that your congregation is prepared to receive such gifts and to use them well.