By: Laurie Valentine- COO & Trust Counsel
A Christian estate plan is one you develop by determining how God wants you to: (1) provide for your family and other “dependents” at your death and (2) have your finances managed and decisions made for you if you became incapacitated and no longer able to do those things for yourself.
Step #2 Make a Written Plan. 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.
Next Month-Step #3 Coordinate Your Plan.
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.