Billy Graham’s Estate
Billy Graham died at the age of 99 on February 21, 2018. He was one of our nation’s best-known Christian evangelists and preached for over 60 years. At this time, we don’t know what type of estate plan Billy Graham had, but we do know that he was one of the wealthiest pastors in the United States. His net worth was estimated to be $25 million dollars at the time of his death. He is also associated with two non-profits, Samaritan’s Purse (revenue of $636 million in 2016) and the Billy Graham Evangelical Association (revenue of $101 million in 2010).
Billy Graham is a man of great wealth, but it is interesting to note that he could have made a greater fortune than he did, and he lived a life that was free of scandal. Grant Wacker, a professor at the Duke University Divinity School and author of a book about Graham states, “He [Billy Graham] was a man who maintained absolute marital fidelity and moral and financial integrity. He was an evangelist who lived the way he preached.”
Billy Graham served as trusted advisor to presidents from Harry Truman to Donald Trump. More than 200 million people around the world attended his crusades from 1947 to 2007 and heard the simple message of grace and hope that marked his ministry. Billy and wife, Ruth, left a legacy of children (Franklin Graham and Anne Graham Lotz) involved in ministry. Billy’s business succession plan transitioned to Franklin as President and CEO of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 2001.
Graham’s legacy includes a long list of memorable quotes, including many thoughts on money, greed and contentment. He loved people. In an interview at the time of his 90 th birthday, Rev. Graham was asked if he had any regrets. He responded, “Yes, I wish I had made more young friends. All of my friends are dead!” While that may have been said in jest, our lives will be better if we intentionally and consistently connect with friends in younger generations.
Billy Graham positively influenced people around our country and the world and will be missed. Most of us will not live to age 99. All of us have the opportunity to make an estate plan that will work when we need it. When you are ready, contact us to schedule an appointment to start or update your estate plan or business succession plan.