Estate Planning Is All About Values


If you think estate planning in Pasadena is only about saving money on taxes, you're sorely mistaken. A properly prepared estate plan can be a tool to express your faith and values even after you've passed on.

The most obvious way to incorporate your personal faith and values into your estate plan is to make a church or a secular charitable organization a beneficiary. You could leave a specific dollar amount, designate the beneficiary to receive a percentage of your assets, or establish a trust that would provide benefits for many years to come. You may also wish to donate certain physical items to charity, such as giving a collection of antique school books that belonged to your great-great-grandmother to a local historical society so they can be enjoyed by others, or donating a collection of valuable artwork to your alma mater. Your attorney can explain the financial pros and cons of each type of donation.

Beyond outright charitable donations, you may wish to place stipulations on how money can be used. For example, if education is very important to you, you may wish to leave your grandchildren money that can only be used for their college expenses. If you would like for your heirs to learn more about their home country, you could also consider leaving money to finance overseas travel. If you want your heirs to work hard and become self sufficient, you may opt to limit distributions until they have reached a certain age.

In addition to discussing the distribution of your assets, an estate plan also includes designations for health care power of attorney and the creation of a living will to outline what actions you wish to be taken if you become ill or incapacitated. This is a deeply personal aspect of your estate plan which will undoubtedly be influenced by your faith and values. Regardless of how you feel about issues such as organ donation and the use of a ventilator to prolong your life, granting power of attorney to someone who shares your beliefs will give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your wishes will be respected.

How Can We Help?

Estate plans must be personalized to fit individual circumstances. Our Pasadena estate planning firm can help you create a plan that best addresses your specific needs. Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at to schedule an appointment.