People creating an estate plan have to deal with uncomfortable questions of mortality and death. For many, these questions naturally lead to questions of religion, values, and ethics. For the faithful, an estate plan is not merely an exercise in legal formalities, but a way to ensure that your values and religious faith are affirmed and protected after you die. Here are several issues you may want to consider if religious concerns are important to you.
1. Your Representatives
If you name an executor, trustee, or attorney-in-fact, you’ll probably want to nominate someone who shares, or at least respects and understands, your religious and personal values. Your representatives will have key responsibilities and will play a role in your estate and your legacy, so it’s important to choose your representatives carefully.
2. Your Children
If you have young children, your estate plan will name a guardian who will take over parenting in the event you should die. If you want your children to receive specific religious or ethical training, your choice of replacement guardian should be able to impart those values.
3. Your Medical Choices
If you create advance medical directives you’ll want to review them carefully and make sure they account for any religious concerns about medical care. You may also want to consult with a clergy member or religious advisor as you decide what kind of terms to place in your medical directives.