While estate planning attorneys are experts in advising clients on how to create an estate plan that fits their needs, there is one part of that equation the attorney is unable to answer. You are the only person who can tell your attorney what your religious values are and how important it is to you to reflect those values in your estate plan. Here are three tips you can use to help you decide what role your religious values should play as you create your estate plan.
Tip 1: Consider your Legacy
For many people, leaving behind a legacy of faith and values is far more important than the monetary concerns. If this is the case, you will want to create an estate plan that can leave your family some way to remember the kinds of values that mattered most to you and what role they played in your life. You should consider leaving behind a video, book, or other way that you can impart your values to others and leave them a tangible way to remember how you lived your life.
Tip 2: Consider your Children
For many people, it’s very important that their children are brought up in an environment that teaches specific religious values. If this is the case, you’ll want to create an estate plan that nominates guardians who are able to provide this kind of education in your absence.
Tip 3: Consider Your Gifts
Many people who are members of a church, synagogue, or other religious community want to leave gifts to the community after they die. In some situations it can be better to make such charitable donations while you’re still alive, so you’ll want to consult with your estate planning attorney if you are planning on leaving anything to a religious organization or charity.
Thoughtful estate planning is far more than just a simple will that leaves material items to designated persons. For those interested in more than just “bare bones” planning, work with an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney and share with him or her you concerns and goals.