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 #5 Make Provision for Each Intended Beneficiary. Efficient and effective distribution of assets at death, a key element of Christian estate planning, requires making provision for each and every beneficiary with whom you intend to share your estate.
Leaving everything to one beneficiary with the hope/expectation he or she knows what you want and will share your estate with your other intended beneficiaries is not a good idea. Legally, the named beneficiary has exclusive rights and full ownership over anything left to him/her.
Even if your named beneficiary has every intention of carrying out your wishes, he or she could be in a situation at your death that prevents them from giving away what they inherit from you.
Unintended gift tax liability can also result from the “inheritor” giving away too much, all at once, to the others with whom you wanted you assets shared.
Next Month-Step #6 Name a Guardian for Minor Children.
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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.