I recently read a fantastic article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Joining Church and Estate.” It does a really great job of breaking down various aspects of a basic estate plan and how that plan can ultimately be affected by one’s faith and religion.
There are many possible purposes for creating an estate plan: minimizing taxes, avoiding probate, protecting assets, etc. But this concept of creating an estate plan to pass on one’s values and beliefs may be a benefit that is easily overlooked.
The article mentions how your religious beliefs can have an impact on how you want your agents to dispose of your final remains. Do you want to be buried or cremated? The more important question here is do your agents know if you want to be buried or cremated? Depending on the religion that you practice, this may not be something you want to leave to chance. Taking the time to write out instructions to your agents can help ensure your religious beliefs are carried out, even after you pass away.
Whether or not you include churches or religious charities in your estate plan is usually prompted by one’s religion or belief system during life. Taking the time to research, evaluate, and ultimately determine the charities to list as beneficiaries is time well spent. It is sometimes helpful to draft a letter that explains to your family why certain charities or churches are part of your estate plan. This is a great way to lead by example and to pass on philanthropic values to your family.
Family heirlooms, including personal belongings that have religious or spiritual meaning to one’s family, can be given to specific beneficiaries through an estate plan. For example, have you decided which of your children should receive the family Bible? Creating a list of personal property and to whom the property should be given goes a very long way in eliminating disputes amongst family members after your death.
At Morris Hall, it is our passion to create estate plans that match the lifestyle and ultimate desires or our Arizona and New Mexico clients. If you would like to learn more about how to leave a legacy for your family, including encouraging religious values for generations to come, please call us today at 888.222.1328 and schedule a free consultation.
What the Attorneys of Morris Hall Can Do For You:
The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100’s of years of combined experience ensuring that families’ assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down. The attorneys also help those in Arizona and New Mexico to apply for and receive Medicaid assistance and Veterans Benefits. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead. Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruce and Santa Fe. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.