For many people, estate planning isn’t just about financial assets and other practical concerns. It’s also about honoring their religious beliefs and passing those values on to family members.
Whatever your religion, and even if you aren’t religious at all, it’s a truism that the holidays aren’t just about the festivities, the food, or the gifts. This is especially the case when there is the younger generation to think about and to teach.
The holidays are a perfect time to share and teach your values. Accordingly, it may be important to reflect and consider what values you might wish to impart to your heirs.
So just how do you transfer your values and, perhaps, also religious beliefs to your heirs? This issue was taken up by MarketWatch in an article titled “Can you make your heirs honor your beliefs?”
Well, can you?
As a matter of fact, there are many ways to generate legally binding caveats to any inheritance or bequest. While you can use the force of law to require even religion-specific tests, should you?
Given that people are complex, maybe you (and they) would be better served if you seek to understand and respect that complexity whenever you consider conditioning an inheritance on certain attached strings. Not that hard and fast rules don’t have their place, but more often than not it’s the lessons “caught” and not the lessons “taught” (or forced) that have enduring impact.
Be sure to seek competent legal counsel for advice regarding what can and, perhaps, what should be done to transfer your values successfully.
Reference: MarketWatch (November 13, 2012) “Can you make your heirs honor your beliefs?”