Thursday, June 8, 2023

5 Ways to Bring the Planet Into Your Estate Planning


Estate planning can help make your passing easier for your loved ones. And it can also be easier for the planet you leave behind, according to estate attorneys at Koza Law Group.

“Eco-friendly estate planning goes beyond providing for our loved ones,” Bobby Kouretchian of Koza Law Group, a Southern California law firm. “It also considers the impact our life and death may have on the planet.”

Ahead of Earth Day, Koza wants people to consider the impact they can have as their final act through responsible estate planning.

“When selecting an estate planning attorney, select one who considers the impact they have on the planet,” Koza says.

By following these tips, you can create an estate plan that reduces your environmental impact and ensures that your wishes are carried out in an environmentally responsible way.

1. Donate to environmental causes

“One of the most effective ways to reduce the environmental impact of your estate is to donate a portion of your assets to environmental causes,” says Kouretchian. “This can include organizations that work to protect natural habitats, promote renewable energy, or support sustainable agriculture.”

2. Choose an eco-friendly burial

Traditional burial practices are harmful to the environment due to the use of embalming fluids and non-biodegradable caskets. “Consider a natural burial, which involves using a biodegradable casket or shroud, and burying the body in a natural setting without embalming,” Kouretchian says.

Courtesy The Good Funeral Guide | Unsplash

3. Consider a green funeral service

Similar to a natural burial, a green funeral may also include other eco-friendly elements, “such as using recycled paper products for the funeral program, using locally sourced flowers, and encouraging guests to carpool or use public transportation to reduce carbon emissions.”

4. Consider the environmental impact of your estate’s assets

“When creating your estate plan, consider the environmental impact of your assets,” says Kouretchian. “For example, if you own a large amount of stock in a company that has a poor environmental record, you may want to consider divesting from that stock and perhaps choosing a more earth-friendly investment.”

5. Encourage your heirs to be eco-friendly

Kouretchian says it’s a good idea to encourage your heirs to be friendly to the environment. “This can include setting up a trust that incentivizes your heirs to be mindful of the environment, or perhaps leaving a bequest to an environmental organization in their name.”

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