The Baby Boomers are retiring in droves and many are beginning to draft their estate plans. As they do so, many are engaging in a practice known as “spiritual estate planning.” If you have never heard of spiritual estate planning before and would like to know more, you should find the following questions and answers to be informative.
What is spiritual estate planning?
Spiritual estate planning is when someone decides how they want to devise their assets based upon their morals and personal values. The concept extends beyond simply designating a charity; it embodies the will creator’s life philosophy and permeates into all aspects of the estate plan. With this type of approach, people determine whether they want to leave money to someone or some organization based upon values, not simply relationships. For example, if the creator of a will has two children, and one of those children is wealthy but the other one is not, they may leave more money and/or property to the less-wealthy child.
Are there drawbacks to this method of estate planning?
No method of estate planning is foolproof, so of course there are difficulties and drawbacks with spiritual estate planning. Critics of the practice say that this method of estate planning allows for too much control from the grave; that it is simply a reinvented application of “dead-hand control,” which is a method to control property interests by causing ownership to vest at some uncertain, but determinable point in the future. Additionally, if the drafter of the will does not explain to relatives that they are letting their spirit guide them, disputes over the will may arise.