How are you doing on your pastor estate planning? A recent study by LifeWay Research shows that while the majority of pastors in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) have a will, nearly 40 percent possess no type of estate planning document at all. And many younger pastors don’t even have a will.
A recent survey conducted by LifeWay Research on behalf of the Southern Baptist Foundation found 37 percent of SBC pastors do not have a trust, will, living will, electronic will, legacy story or durable power of attorney with health care directives.
“Pastors know they can’t take it with them when they die, but estate planning is really about good stewardship for your family,” said Warren Peek, president of the Southern Baptist Foundation. “Basic planning saves a lot of headaches and ensures that assets are not lost.”
According to the survey, pastors age 18-44 are the least likely to have durable power of attorney with health care directives (12 percent), a will (32 percent), or a living will (13 percent).
Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research, said the survey reveals an apparent lack of education and awareness about estate planning and accompanying laws, which may contribute to pastors not having a plan in place.
Nearly two-thirds of pastors surveyed agree with a statement that the court decides who will care for a child if the last parent dies without a will. Twenty percent disagree and 15 percent “don’t know.”
Regarding assets, the survey reveals a slight majority of pastors (52 percent) agree that if someone dies without a will, their family decides what is done with the assets of the deceased. Thirty-seven percent disagree and 11 percent “don’t know.”
“The fact is, in both cases – with property and children – the court decides what happens to them if there is no will in place,” McConnell said. “But more than half of pastors misunderstand what happens to their assets by agreeing to this incorrect statement and 1 in 5 misunderstand what happens to children when parents die without a will.”
How are YOU doing in this area? Have you planned for your family? If not, pick up the phone and make that appointment today!
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