Presentation on theme: "Presentation on Bahá’í Wills Reasons to write a Will Spiritual contents of Will Other ways of leaving property Bahá’í Burial Instructions What to bring."— Presentation transcript:
Presentation on Bahá’í Wills Reasons to write a Will Spiritual contents of Will Other ways of leaving property Bahá’í Burial Instructions What to bring to your lawyer
Top ten reasons to have a Will 10. Keeps unity in the family 9. You can specify recipients of items of spiritual or sentimental value 8. You can determine who will raise your minor children
Top ten reasons to have a Will 7. Provide for Bahá'í burial 6. Control the flow of money to family members 5. Leave property to the Bahá’í Fund
Top ten reasons to have a Will 4. Complete payment of Huqúqu'lláh 3. Avoid estate taxes 2. Give property to loved ones outside of your family
Top ten reasons to have a Will THE NUMBER ONE REASON TO HAVE A WILL: 1. Because Bahá'u'lláh said so
Top ten reasons to have a Will 10. Keeps unity in your family With a Will, everybody knows what your exact wishes are. You can specify what lifetime gifts to children are “water under the bridge” and which ones are advances on their share of your estate.
Top ten reasons to have a Will 9. You can specify recipients of items of spiritual or sentimental value Leave items of art or jewelry to your children or grandchildren, give your Bahá’í ring and prayerbook, give your books to Bahá’í institutions, leave relics to the Archives.
Top ten reasons to have a Will 8. You can determine who will raise your minor children In New Mexico, Guardianship of your minor children can only be definitely established in your will, not in a letter, or power of attorney, or any other document. You can appoint a family member or a friend.
Top ten reasons to have a Will 7. Provide for Bahá'í burial & funeral
Top ten reasons to have a Will 7. Provide for Bahá'í burial & funeral If you don’t specify Bahá’í burial, you might get a ceremony of another religion, your body might get cremated or your body moved. Put burial instructions (1) in your will, (2) in a burial instruction memorandum, and (3) in your Health Care Power of Attorney.
Top ten reasons to have a Will 6. Control the flow of money to family members This requires a trust in addition to a will, specifying funds to be paid each month or each year. This is particularly necessary for minor children, children in school, children with special needs, children who are not good at handling money. Without a will and trust they get all of the money at age 18.
Top ten reasons to have a Will 5. To leave property to the Bahá’í Funds
Top ten reasons to have a Will 5. To leave property to the Bahá’í Funds Specify a dollar amount (“$10,000 to the Bahá'í National Fund”) or a percentage (“10% of my estate to the National Spiritual Assembly”) or give property through a charitable trust for tax advantages. Advisable to have your lawyer contact the National Spiritual Assembly’s Office of Planned Giving.
Top ten reasons to have a Will 4. Complete payment of Huqúqu'lláh
Top ten reasons to have a Will 4. Complete payment of Huqúqu'lláh It may be advisable to specify a dollar amount; or direct your executor to obtain the amount from your updated Right of God worksheet; or specify a bank account, whatever amount is in it at your death -- just continually adjust the amount in that account when you re-calculate Huqúqu’lláh each year; or use life insurance.
Top ten reasons to have a Will 3. Avoid estate taxes If your property totals more than a million dollars including life insurance, the value of your home, retirement funds, everything – your estate may be subject to estate tax. A proper estate plan will reduce and may entirely eliminate estate tax, so that instead your estate will go entirely to your family and to the Bahá'í Institutions.
Top ten reasons to have a Will 2. Ability to leave property to loved ones outside of your immediate family If you want to leave property to your parents, siblings or friends, you need to make provision for it. The court and your Personal Representative can’t read your mind – only your Will.
Top ten reasons to have a Will 1. Because Bahá'u'lláh said so
Unto everyone hath been enjoined the writing of a will. The testator should head this document with the adornment of the Most Great Name, bear witness therein unto the oneness of God in the Dayspring of His Revelation, and make mention, as he may wish, of that which is praiseworthy, so that it may be a testimony for him in the kingdoms of Revelation and Creation and a treasure with his Lord, the Supreme Protector, the Faithful.” (Paragraph 109, The Most Holy Book)
Ways to leave property after your death Will and Testament Living Trust Beneficiary designation on Life Insurance, Retirement Account, or Pension
Ways to leave property after your death “POD” Payable on Death designation on Bank Account, CD, etc. “TOD” Transfer on Death designation on Brokerage Account
Ways to leave property after your death Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship (Be careful!) Charitable Trust
Suggestions for Burial Instructions Memorandum Wash and wrap the body as specified in the Aqdas Body not to be embalmed unless required by law Don’t move or bury the body more than one hour’s journey from the place of death Approval of donation of specified body organs (your driver’s license is the best place to specify this) No cremation Select gravestone quote and symbol Direct a Bahá'í funeral and graveside service Burial with feet pointed towards `Akká Suggestion: Put provision in Health Care Power of Attorney that your agent shall handle disposition of your body
What to bring to your lawyer Greatest Name Spiritual Will Full legal names, addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers of you, your spouse, your children, your health care agent, your executor, your alternate agent and executor, and your minor children’s legal guardian Identify children with special needs
What to bring to your lawyer List of all of your assets, and their value: Residence, including deed, mortgage, mortgage company, contract number, address, and phone; purchase price; and fair market value; bank accounts and CD’s: Institutions, addresses, phone numbers, account numbers, amounts; beneficiaries; how accounts are held (individually, joint tenancy, POD); Brokerage accounts, IRA’s, Money Market accounts, stocks, bonds, etc.: Name of institution, transfer agent, address, phone number, account number, value, beneficiary.
What to bring to your lawyer Insurance policies, company, premium, death benefit, beneficiary; change of beneficiary form. Verify how all accounts are held, and who is the beneficiary of each List of individual items you want to leave to others, and their names and addresses, and alternate recipients How you want your estate distributed
What to bring to your lawyer Amount you want to give to the Bahá'í Fund Payment of unpaid Huqúqu’lláh including name and address of Trustees (from The American Bahá’í)