Estate planning attorneys sometimes get so caught up in the legal processes and issues surrounding estate planning that they forget many people have significant religious concerns about inheritances, medical choices and the kind of legacy they leave behind. For people of faith, it’s important to carefully review your estate plan and keep your religious principles in mind as you create it. There are several key areas in which religious concerns often play a significant role in the estate planning decision-making process.
If you are a parent who has young children, your estate plan will include the name of a replacement guardian who will care for your children should you die. It’s important that you select a guardian who will be able to raise your children with your religious values in mind.
To some religious people, it’s important to leave inheritances to children or grandchildren but only upon the satisfaction of certain conditions, such as marrying someone of the same faith. While these types of restrictions are usually allowable, you’ll want to speak with your estate planning lawyer about the possibility of these limitations being challenged in court and how that might affect your estate plan.
Many people choose to give at least part of their estate to a church, religious organization or other charity. If this is important, you should consult your estate planning attorney to determine the best way to leave such a charitable gift, as making a gift while you are still alive is often more beneficial than leaving one in your Will.