In various contexts in my life, I have heard the expression, “Keep it simple stupid.” While the idea may be good in many areas, simple is not always better. For example, I worked at Mcdonald's as a youngster. Their burgers are good and undeniably simple. But compare that to a hand-crafted burger made from fresh ground beef, marinated, slowly grilled to order, with pesto or chili pepper, fresh cheese, garden fresh tomato with honey smoked bacon on a ciabatta bun…not much comparison.
Now think about your family estate plan. There are the simple “plan” options. One is to do nothing, leaving the California state legislature to decide who receives your assets after your death (the “Ostrich Plan” -think head in the ground!). Another option is the “cookie-cutter/fill in the blanks” approach of a computer program that helps you zoom your way to an estate plan.
Then there is the hand-crafted, thought out, and prayed over approach of a trust and related documents that can minimize costs, headaches and family disputes. Far from simple, this approach constructs a detailed plan that can truly maximize the value of your assets accumulated over your lifetime.
To the latter approach, a Christian might also seek to apply Biblical wisdom to the equation, such as “a good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,” or “an inheritance quickly gained will not be blessed in the end,” or “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also,” or “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” Hmmm.
Creating customized Christian Estate Plans is what we do at the Baptist Foundation of California. It may include such “ingredients “as a living trust to avoid probate and structure the inheritance; your Christian testimony along with a tangible demonstration of your faith by giving a portion of your assets to God’s work; and a durable power of attorney and healthcare directive to ensure that your assets and your medical care are both managed by the people you want and in the manner you want, should you ever be unable to do so yourself.
As a non-profit Christian organization, we will do this all for less than a third of the cost of private attorneys. You will also have the peace of mind a Foundation attorney will always shave access to your file for future changes and will be available for your family on the day you go Home to see Jesus. Contact our offices for a free, personal consultation or to arrange an estate planning seminar for your church. We look forward to serving you