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3 ways faith may affect the estate planning process

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Devoted and dedicated Christians generally let their faith determine their actions in many areas of their lives. Prayer may be necessary before they decide whether to change their family circumstances or pursue an alternate career path.

Someone’s faith can also play an important role in their estate planning process. Although Jesus has said that the heavenly Father notices even the fall of the sparrow, it is still incumbent upon those with families and personal values to prepare for their eventual passing. Estate planning can also address what happens when someone is in a medically vulnerable place.

An individual testator’s Christian faith could play an important role in their estate planning process. How can someone’s faith influence their estate planning choices?

Faith may influence medical preferences

Difference denominations of Christianity have different values when it comes to scientific research and medical care. For example, there are some faiths that take issue with embryonic stem cell research. Other faiths have rules against blood transfusions. Creating an advance directive can help ensure that healthcare professionals don’t violate someone’s deeply-held religious beliefs in an emergency.

People may want to give to their churches

The average Christian makes financial contributions to their congregation every week that they attend. People make contributions based on their income and their family circumstances. Older adults may not feel comfortable giving generously because they must live on a fixed income. However, they can correct that by leaving resources to their church or faith-based nonprofit organizations when they pass. Careful estate planning is often necessary to ensure that money can pass to churches or nonprofit organizations according to someone’s wishes.

There may be concern about the use of an inheritance

Faith often runs in families because of the culture that parents create. They instruct their children in the ways of their faith in the hopes of promoting ethical behavior as their children grow into adults. Sadly, not everyone retains their faith later in life. Parents may not want to disinherit their adult children over their lack of church attendance, but they may feel conflicted about leaving an inheritance that someone might abuse. People can potentially create trusts as a way of influencing how their family members and other loved ones use and inheritance. In doing so, they can better ensure that resources go toward educational or health care costs instead of debauchery.

Creating a viable estate plan requires careful planning and a thoughtful perspective. Those who secure appropriate support can feel more confident about medical professionals and family members adhering to their wishes in the future.