Members have been instructed how to easily transfer their assets to PCG after their death. A Royal Vision article1 asked whether Christians should concern themselves with how their possessions will be distributed after they die. But another question that is perhaps just as important is: Should Christians make sure they use wisdom and discernment in who will finally end up receiving all or most of their money and material goods after they die?
This particular article by Mark Nash focused on how people should take “reasonable measures to set our houses in order” in case they suddenly die, and since no one can take their possessions with them when they die, and no one can know when they might die, it is assumed that most people (even those who have little) will want to give their assets or wealth to someone when they die.
What are some of the main “possessions” that are brought to the reader’s attention in this article?
- Certificates of deposit (CDs)
- Checking accounts
- Savings accounts
- Money markets
- Mutual funds
- Stock or bond accounts
- Insurance policies
- Cash assets
- Physical possessions
The article goes on to put the question in the reader’s mind about “what will happen to your possessions when you die?” And that one must take steps to make sure your wishes are carried in the exact manner you determine.
“Tools” is the word used to show what can help them see that their assets will be distributed as he/she wishes. The cost of these tools varies. However, there is a “free tool” that is said to be quite simple and which works with no hassles and no problems. The “remarkable” thing about this “tool” is that it can be set up in minutes with one’s checking and savings account. That way when you die, the money will be transferred exactly where you want it to go, whether a person, persons, or–an “organization.” What is this “remarkable tool”? One name for it is a “Payable on Death” benefit. Of course, if you are married and have joint accounts, both mates have to die for it to be effective.
Here’s what happens with this “Payable on Death” benefit. You assign a new owner to your account who will instantly take over your checking and savings account when you die. You don’t even have to worry about things going through probate, which takes so long and costs so much. These assets in your accounts will not even remain in your estate. They will be instantly the property of the one who has been named the beneficiary. (The word “organization” comes to mind.) If you decide to change the name of the beneficiary, it can be done, and only takes a few minutes at the bank. So, if you would like to change your mind about who is presently the beneficiary upon your death, this would be a simple and quick way to do it. After your death, the “new owner” of all your assets, and all your possessions, will simply furnish the bank a certified death certificate and proper identification. It is all quite easy.
This “remarkable” tool allows you to will your entire estate, money, land, possessions, etc. over to Philadelphia Church of God without having to worry about any “unconverted” relatives being able to fight it. Gerald Flurry knows how this has happened in the past and it undoubtedly gave him stress. One incident that comes to mind is about a family in Canada who took Flurry/PCG to court over their father’s will, which was worth about a million dollars. (See note at end about Flurry vs. Fuller.) Setting one’s assets up through “Payable on Death” will make it almost impossible for anyone to contest the transfer.
The author goes on to say that there is also another “tool” in some states, which has a minimal fee, and that will allow you to transfer your car, snowmobile, boat, motor home, travel trailer, even your airplane, if you have one. This is usually called “Transfer on Death.”
All of this is to “avoid delays, additional costs and other complications” that often arise after you die. Could some of the “delays and complications” be a needy child or other relative who is being cheated out of their rightful inheritance?
What about those who aren’t really wealthy and have less money than others? Do they need to go through all this? Well, this article states that they do. It says it is even “more important” for them to plan carefully. Why? Because if you don’t have things set up to have even your “smallest amount” transferred at death this “quick and simple” way, then all your money could be eaten up with court costs and attorney fees, and if that happens, your loved ones won’t have anything. Or, that “organization” you left it to won’t get anything.
Now you can list more than one person (or “organization”) that you want your assets transferred to. In other words, you can set it up where you leave some to your wife and the rest of it–perhaps the majority or a large percentage–to where you want it to go. If any of it–or all of it–is going to an “organization,” you only have to get their correct address and tax number from them. Of course, it’s a “good idea” to let the organization know about this account you have.
Now, if you later decide you want to change beneficiaries, that can become “a bit sticky.” So, the author says. But you should let the organization know they are listed; otherwise you need to leave a statement that can be found after you die.
The author stresses that you must list the institution (i.e., bank), address, account number, type of account, and anything else the bank provides. If you do this, you won’t have to notify the person you are removing from the account, and that will prevent “hurting their feelings.” In other words, if you previously had your children, your spouse, or even your only brother, listed and you now want to make PCG the whole beneficiary, you can do it without anyone being the wiser. All of the preceding is to make sure that the member has everything in order before they die, and that their assets (including the entire estate if they have one) will go to where they want it to go.
Why would Philadelphia Church of God be so interested in helping members understand how to transfer all they own to someone else after they die? Is it because Gerald Flurry is solely concerned with helping members know how to manage their money so their relatives don’t have to go through a lot of hassles after they die? Or is he concerned with how much the members might leave to the PCG? Is he concerned with how easy it will be for him to take control of the members’ wealth, without any interference from attorneys, or families, which have been deprived of their rightful inheritance? Didn’t Herbert Armstrong tell members that material goods were “of the world” and one’s focus should not be on such? Didn’t he say that these assets should, instead, be used to further “the Work” and to get the gospel out? What is Flurry saying about money? It should cause one to wonder why there is so much emphasis on giving money in PCG.
In the beginning of this Royal Vision article, the Scriptures I Timothy 5:8 and II Corinthians 12:14 were quoted, and the author mentioned how it was certainly a scriptural responsibility to “take care of our families.” Yet in the rest of the article the word “organization” (Philadelphia Church of God?)–that one may decide to transfer all their possessions to upon death–is mentioned eight times. Are readers to believe that “organization” refers to some other worthwhile charity (and not PCG)? It would appear not. For one thing PCG, as WCG, didn’t think any outside charity was as important as giving to “God’s Work.” Anything in the outside world was worthless compared to God’s “one true Church” and to make sure the “restored gospel” message was going out. The words “worthwhile charity” are only mentioned once in this article.
The first verse quoted at the beginning of this Royal Vision article was:
I Timothy 5:8: “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel [unbeliever].”
What is that saying? It means that if you decide to leave all your assets, your estate, or most of your possessions to Philadelphia Church of God, Gerald Flurry will end up with it, not your spouse, not your children, not those who are your flesh and blood. Does it matter if they will suffer financially after you die? This verse says if you don’t provide for them, you are worse than an infidel. An infidel is an unbeliever. This says you are worse than an unbeliever. You might give everything you have to what you feel is “God’s Work,” but the Scriptures show that it is our love for Christ, that is most important, not an “organization.” If we have the love of Christ in us, we will love our families. Leaving nothing to those who are dependent on us is not showing love. It will not profit in the end.
The second verse quoted was:
“… for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children” (II Corinthians 12:14).
This Scripture is saying that it is right and good for the parents to lay up for their children. What if you die, have willed most of your possessions to PCG, and your children are still underage and will struggle financially, even having no money for further education, or a nice wedding, because you have left them little or nothing?
Proverbs 13:32 says:
“A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children…” It is scriptural to lay up for your children’s children.
You may say your children are grown, your spouse has left, and your relatives are “in the world,” and now you want everything to go to PCG when you die because you know it is “God’s true church” and the money will be “well spent.” Was it well spent when Herbert Armstrong was alive? Have you read the articles on this site and others,2 especially from those who have not been afraid to look into all this? Investigate into whether Philadelphia Church of God is really God’s “one true church,” and whether Flurry is really “That Prophet,” or whether it is just another exclusive group that is out to exploit you for every last dime you have, until you are left with nothing to show for everything you have given your entire life to. You owe it to yourself and your family to make absolutely sure before it’s too late!
By D. M. Williams
Exit & Support Network™
April 9, 2004
Update: In 2012 Mark Nash was a PCG HQs Preaching Elder and Festival Dept. Manager. In 2016 he was suspended. More info on Mark Nash and how he was in prison can be found in the August 31, 2005 letter to ESN.
NOTE: A judge in Canada finally awarded half of an estate to a family whose father willed his estate to PCG. The 12-6-02 court case (2002 BCSC 1703 Flurry v. Fuller et al) and the 4-20-04 court case (2004 BCCA 218 Fuller v. Fuller) have since been removed from the web, but we saved a mirror of the originals. (Interestingly enough, Flurry was executor of the 1997 will, and the judge in this case said he should have stepped down because he is the same as the PCG, and not a disinterested party.) View the 4-20-04 case (2004 BCCA 218) as PDF: Fuller v. Fuller _4-20-04
Related Letters, Testimonies & Articles:
Gerald Flurry’s 2004 Building Fund Letter (Squeezing More Money Out of Members)
PCG Has Several Ways to Build Up its Financial Reserves (2012 letter to ESN)
PCG Preying on the Old, Sick and Dying (shows the severe financial 2012-2013 exploitation that is taking place in Trinidad, Caribbean, and how PCG is not leaving any paper trail)
The Strange Story of Uncle George and the Philadelphia Church of God (how one relative willed his entire estate and all he owned to PCG)
Beware “Ambassadors” Bearing Gifts! (A tragic story of what happened to one member when he responded to Herbert Armstrong’s pleas for more money; very applicable to what has happened to many in PCG)
1 “Payable on Death,” by Mark Nash, Royal Vision, January/February 2004, pp. 22-23.
2 Fleecing the Flock and Southern Exposure in Ambassador Report #2, 1977. (Note: Read ESN’s comments about the AR.)
Mike’s Page (Philadelphia Church of God Exposed)