Estate Planning | Southern Hills
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Steward God’s Provision Wisely
Everything we have is a gift from God. Kingdom-minded estate planning acknowledges Christians’ role as stewards of these gifts. We’re commanded to use them for His glory during our lifetime and beyond. WatersEdge can help you pass on God’s provision through biblically grounded estate planning that provides for your family and advances ministry.
The Pattersons Make an Estate Plan. Go Along for the Ride.
Why Do I Need an Estate Plan?
Pass on Possessions
Who will inherit your assets when you die? Without an estate plan, decisions to distribute your property are left to the state.
Our greatest opportunity to make a significant financial impact comes when we die. Charitable gifts made through your estate plan allow you to support ministries you care about, advancing the Gospel for generations to come.
Safeguard Young Children
Individuals and couples with dependent children (under age 18) must choose a guardian who will provide care in the event of the parent(s)’ death. Without an estate plan, the state will decide who raises your children.
Specify Health Care Wishes
If illness or severe injury left you incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself, what decisions do you want made about emergency medical treatments like ventilators, feeding tubes and other forms of life support?
Prevent Family Conflict
Unfortunately, disputes over possessions are common when a family member passes away without a will to distribute his or her assets. An estate plan, which includes a will, helps reduce this possibility by detailing how your possessions should be divided.
Minimize Taxes and Fees
Attorney fees, court costs and taxes can reduce the value of the inheritance you leave behind. Careful estate planning can alleviate some or all of these burdens, ensuring more of your assets end up in your beneficiaries’ hands.
Probate is the legal process that resolves a person’s estate after he or she dies. This includes distributing property to heirs, paying debts and taxes. Your beneficiaries can bypass probate if you choose to create a trust as part of your estate plan.
We’ve been helping individuals and families impact God’s Kingdom through charitable estate planning for more than 50 years. Let our experienced staff guide you through the estate planning process as you seek to protect your family and support ministries that transform lives with the Gospel.
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT
Get started with guidance from our team of estate planning professionals. Meet virtually with Zoom or Facetime, by phone or in person.
FINALIZE YOUR PLAN
We’ll review your guidebook, help you answer any remaining questions, and then send your information to an attorney of your choice who will draft your estate planning documents. You will then work with your attorney to complete and sign your plan.
Already Have an Estate Plan?
Life changes quickly, which is why we recommend reviewing or updating your estate plan every 5-10 years. Make an appointment for a free consultation with the WatersEdge estate planning team to ensure your plan is current.
Why Plan With Us?
Focus on Giving Back
Our estate planning experience is tailored for those with a desire to provide for their families as well as give back to God when they die, supporting Christian churches, ministries, organizations and institutions working to transform lives with the Gospel.
Legal Fee Reimbursement
We will reimburse a portion of your legal fees if your estate plan includes a gift to a partnering ministry of your choice. This means most estate plans completed through WatersEdge are free. You may choose either a gift of 10 percent of your estate or, a gift of $50,000 or greater. Learn more below or visit our FAQs. See a list of WatersEdge ministry partners at WatersEdgeServices.org/MinistryPartners.
For more than 50 years, our certified estate planning professionals have helped thousands of individuals and families create and update plans that protect families and support ministry.
“Our experience with WatersEdge was great. It was a good conversation, because it’s more than just counting dollars and cents – you can tell that they really care about ministry and life. Creating an estate plan is a pretty simple thing to do to put things in place so that someone else doesn’t have to worry about it.”
Bill & Kelly Gandy
Cross Fellowship Church | Black Forest, Colorado
“God has blessed us with two families: our earthly family of sons, daughters-in-law and grandkids, and a spiritual family in Christ. Our desire for the resources God has given us is to provide for the furthering of both. Let me encourage you to take advantage of this great opportunity.”
Pastor, Southern Hills Baptist Church | OKC, Oklahoma
“We’d be fools not to create an estate plan, in a lot of ways. It benefits our child and future children, our families, and even benefits either one of us in case something happens. WatersEdge really communicated that it’s about stewardship and taking care of the things God has given us to use for His Kingdom.”
Will & Cady Bailey
Western Hills Church | Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Estate Planning Basics
An estate plan is a set of essential legal documents that settle critical end-of-life decisions. Your estate plan may include the following:
A. Last Will and Testament
A legal document that details your wishes for passing on your possessions at your death and names who will care for any minor children (under age 18) you leave behind. This is critical for single parents and for married couples in the event both spouses die.
Your last will and testament also includes your selection of a Personal Representative (also known as an Executor) for your estate. After your death, your Personal Representative will hire an attorney to file your will in probate court, so that assets in your name can be legally transferred to your heirs and other beneficiaries.
Without a will, the state will decide who inherits your belongings and who raises your children.
B. Health Care Power of Attorney
A legal document that grants authority to an individual you choose to act on your behalf regarding health care matters in the event you become incapacitated and cannot make decisions for yourself. This authority is typically given to a spouse or family member. The Health Care Power of Attorney allows this person to access your medical information, work with your doctors to prepare a plan of care, and perform other important tasks on your behalf.
C. Financial Power of Attorney
A legal document that grants authority to an individual you choose to act on your behalf regarding financial matters in the event you become incapacitated and cannot make decisions for yourself. This authority is typically given to a spouse or family member. The Financial Power of Attorney allows this person to pay your bills, access your bank accounts and perform other important tasks on your behalf.
D. Advance Directive for Healthcare (“Living Will”)
A legal document that allows you to specify your wishes for end-of-life issues related to the use of life support, ventilators, feeding and hydration tubes, and resuscitation techniques like CPR. An Advance Directive for Healthcare also allows you to provide instructions about organ donation.
Legal Fee Reimbursement
WatersEdge will reimburse up to $500 in legal fees associated with creating or updating your estate plan if your plan includes a gift to a partnering ministry of your choice. This reimbursement covers all or most of the fees associated with most estate plans. However, for more complex estate plans, it is common for legal fees to exceed the $500 reimbursement threshold. In this case, you are responsible for paying the difference.
Legal Fee Reimbursement Qualifications
- If you wish to specify a percentage of your estate as a gift to ministry, then the percentage must be at least 10 percent of your estate to qualify for legal fee reimbursement.
- If you wish to specify a specific dollar amount from your estate as a gift to ministry, then the amount must be $50,000 or greater to qualify for legal fee reimbursement.
- Ask the WatersEdge estate planning team about other giving options that can qualify your estate plan for legal fee reimbursement, including gifts made during your lifetime or gifts made through a retirement account or life insurance.
Not all WatersEdge ministry partners are listed on our website, so please ask our estate planning team if you’re unable to find a ministry you wish to support. We frequently add new ministry partners, including some like-minded ministries not affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. However, if you desire to support a ministry or organization whose purpose or ideology conflicts with Southern Baptists’ core beliefs as expressed in The Baptist Faith and Message, we may be unable to assist you.
To learn more about charitable estate planning with WatersEdge, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions.