Your Catholic Faith and Estate Planning

How can your Catholic Faith be reflected in your estate plan? What is a faithful estate plan? Put simply, it is a plan that assures that all your final wishes will be faithfully executed, providing you with peace of mind while providing your beneficiaries with the inheritance you wanted them to have. A faithful estate plan also provides ongoing financial support of the charitable causes that were important to you during your lifetime. Your estate plan should result from a process of thoughtfully providing for the efficient transfer of your assets to your heirs and charitable interests in accordance with your wishes. It is a testament that affirms not only how your estate will be distributed, but also what kind of a legacy you will leave behind and the impact it will have for future generations.

Estate planning isn't just for rich people or older people. Everyone should do it. It can begin with the simplicity of writing a will, but it can also involve trusts, changing beneficiaries of life insurance policies and retirement accounts, selecting guardians for minor children, providing lifetime income for yourself and others, minimizing taxes and other estate settlement costs, or passing on business interests and providing for your charitable interests.

As Catholics, our estate plans can be an especially fulfilling way to affirm what is important to you; your family, your faith and your community. Common but sometimes overlooked ways that your estate plan can reflect your family and Catholic values may include:

  • Catholic Legacy Will. Your estate plan can do more than just pass on your earthly possessions to your family and provide support for your favorite charity. Your estate plan can include a Catholic Legacy Will that consists of inspirational testimony which expresses to your family your deep and lasting love for Christ. You can poignantly communicate to your loved ones your wish that they live Christ-centered lives. As such, a Catholic Legacy Will can help you pass on to your family a lasting faith-based legacy that will shine a light on the path they will walk on their journey through life.

  • Catholic Health Care Documents. Advance Directives & Medical Powers of Attorney

    1. An Advance Directive is a statement of your wishes concerning health care and states treatment that you do want, such as life-sustaining care and relief from pain. Of course, your Advance Directive should also reflect the teaching of the Catholic Church on the sanctity of life. Pope John Paul II's encyclical, Gospel of Life, is an excellent guide in making life decisions. In addition, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has resources on the teaching of the Church on these important end-of-life issues.

    2. A Medical Power of Attorney (MPOA) authorizes a person to make health care decisions for you when you are unable to do so. In your MPOA, you give your agent instructions about your medical treatment. It is a bit of an understatement to say that your patient advocate should be someone you trust, someone who understand s and will carry out your health care wishes. Your agent's decisions will literally be a "matter of life or death" - yours!

  • Remembering The Church In Your Estate Distribution. We greatly appreciate our friends and supporters who hear the call to "give back" to the Catholic Church that spiritually enriched them during their lifetimes. With tax-wise estate planning you can reduce your taxes, achieve financial goals and also support the East Texas Catholic Foundation.

We greatly appreciate our generous friends and supporters who remember us in their estate plans. If you would like more information, ideas, or help with this process, please call Mark Henry at (903) 534-1077 x 200 or email him at mhenry@dioceseoftyler.org.

The material presented on this Planned Giving website is not offered as legal or tax advice.

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