For many people, faith plays an integral role in their daily life. If you are one of them, you may have wondered how to integrate your faith into your estate planning endeavors. More importantly can faith play a part in your estate plan? The answer to that question is “yes,” faith can play a significant role in your estate plan by working with an experienced Missouri estate planning attorney who is aware of your beliefs and who can help you integrate those beliefs into your estate plan.
If your religious beliefs and ideals play an important role during your lifetime, there is no reason why they cannot continue on after you are gone. Chances are that you contribute both time and money to further your faith as well as incorporate that faith into decisions – both large and small – that you make throughout your life. With careful estate planning, you can continue to contribute to your chosen faith based organizations after your death. Moreover, you can encourage your loved ones to carry on your beliefs and ideals through your estate plan as well. Faith is a highly personal subject matter, which is why it is best to work closely with an experienced Missouri estate planning attorney about ways to incorporate your faith into your estate plan. There are, however, some strategies that are commonly used to inter-weave faith and religious beliefs into an estate plan, including:
- Charitable donations — you can always gift assets directly to your church, or other religious organization, in your Last Will and Testament.
- Charitable trusts – the Charitable Lead and Charitable Remainder trusts both allow you to name a charitable and a non-charitable beneficiary. One will receive trust benefits for a designated period of time with the remainder going to the other beneficiary.
- Incentive trust – the terms of an incentive trust can be used to encourage a beneficiary to do, or to refrain from doing, anything you wish. For instance, you might require a beneficiary to complete his/her religious training and be indoctrinated into your chosen faith before the beneficiary may receive distributions from the trust.
- Educational trust – you might allow for distributions only if a beneficiary attends a faith based school.
- Advanced directives – you your advanced directive to express your faith and feelings toward end of life care and treatment.
- Funeral planning – creating a funeral plan ensures that your body will be handled according to your wishes after death and that the service held or you conforms to your religious beliefs.
Your faith is important to you now. Why not allow it to continue to play a role in the lives of your beneficiaries after your death? If you have additional questions or concerns about faith based estate planning, contact the experienced Missouri estate planning attorneys at Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC by calling (314) 966-8077 to schedule an appointment.
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