By: Laurie Valentine- COO & Trust Counsel
Christian estate planning is about stewardship—making decisions and putting in place documents that most effectively and efficiently accomplish God’s plans for your possessions.
When it comes to planning for passing assets at death, good estate stewardship requires that you put in place a written plan—a Will or Will and Revocable Living Trust.
If you have not made a Will, state law determines how your individually-owned assets will pass at your death. The state’s “Will” may direct distribution of your assets in a way that doesn’t meet your family’s needs or to persons with whom you would not want to share your estate. And, all distributions under the state’s plan will be outright to the designated beneficiaries—no matter their age and/or capacity to manage what is coming to them. Also, using the state’s “Will”, rather than writing your own, may result in more cost to administer and pass your assets at your death; thereby leaving less for your family.
Planning for possible future incapacity requires giving those you want to act for you written authorization to do that. Powers of Attorney and health care advanced directives are the “written plans” you can use to accomplish that part of your planning.
A Power of Attorney can include financial management authority such as the power to use your cash, investments, real estate and business interests for your benefit and sign tax returns and deal with tax matters for you. Personal decision-making authority such as the power to obtain private health information and make healthcare decisions for you can also be included.
A Living Will Directive allows you to put down in writing your wishes regarding when/if you want life prolonging medical treatment withheld or withdrawn.
And, to assure your plan will continue to accomplish God’s purposes for your possessions make sure to keep it up to date by reviewing it every few years and also any time there are changes in your situation or that of your family (marriages, births, deaths, etc.).
For more information, please call us at (502) 489-3533 or toll free in KY at 1(866) 489-3533.
The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.