Religion and Estate Planning

June 16, 2023

Many clients have strong religious beliefs, which should be reflected in their estate plans. Practitioners in all disciplines have a role in addressing this goal. Practitioners in every discipline may inquire as to whether a client has any important religious considerations that may affect their planning. But that question is often not enough, as even clients with strongly held religious beliefs may not realize the impact of their estate plan on their beliefs. So, practitioners may consider engaging with the client, see if the client understands or would like to briefly discuss how different aspects of their estate plan may have religious implications or how they can use their estate plan to reflect their religious values. Even a client who may not view themselves as devout may wish burial in accordance with their religious traditions, or to pass on religious identity through trusts and other components of their estate plan. Even for clients who are adamantly not religious, addressing religious considerations may be important if they have family members that are devout. For those clients, it may be important to their wishes that documents indicate that they intentionally do not want religious restrictions or considerations to apply. Most practitioners are hesitant to address religious considerations, especially for faiths that are not their own. But so long as you are sincere and caring in discussions, you do not need to be an expert in a particular faith to make the inquiries and help guide a client. In all instances there will be resources and other experts you can rely on, but that depends on having the discussion with the client in the first instance. This webinar will provide a practical overview of how practitioners can have these discussions with clients and help guide clients in this vital aspect of planning.   Speakers: Yaser Ali, Esq. and Martin Shenkman, Esq. *This may constitute attorney advertising. * There are no professional advancement credits (CPE, CLE, etc.) offered for viewing this webinar.