Churches and Faith-Based Organizations

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The Wilkerson Law Office focuses on the specific legal needs of churches, ministries, religious organizations, and clergy in California. Our 318-82388scope of representation includes both the creation of new religious or faith-based organizations and consulting with existing ones. We advise our clients on legal issues relating to general corporate and business matters, as well as a broad range of other issues that often have unique application in the religious nonprofit environment.

The Wilkerson Law Office conducts legal audits to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations in the areas of non-profit operation, general liability, and employment practice, including hiring, disciplining, and termination.  In addition, we provide transactional services related to drafting and reviewing internal and external corporate documents and litigation services.

Why choose The Wilkerson Law Office?

There are thousands of talented lawyers across nation, however, as the leader of a religious organization, you should choose a lawyer that can respond to your religious and spiritual needs in addition to your legal needs.  At The Wilkerson Law Office our lawyers take pride in maintaining the highest level of integrity, ethical, moral, and religious standards while representing clients with an exceptional level of service and skill.

We can help your church or religious organization in the following areas:

Incorporation

We will help you file the proper documents to incorporate your church, ministry, charity, or private foundations.  In addition, we will prepare new bylaws or amend your existing set to address important issues, including pastor removal, pastor succession, member voting or lack thereof, disciplinary measures against members, and pastor authority with respect to election and removal of officers and directors.

501(c)(3) Status

We apply for 501(c)(3) federal income tax exemption and communicate with the IRS on your behalf, so you don’t have to. We also advise on the best practices for maintaining the tax exemption.

Legal Audits

We can perform a comprehensive legal review of your church or ministry to assess any areas of vulnerability that need to be addressed.  Following our audit we will make recommendations and work without you to ensure the business side of the organization is functioning with minimal risk.

Contracts

We can prepare or review contracts of all kinds, such as leases, mortgages, purchase agreements, employment agreements, construction agreements, etc.

Employment Issues

We advise churches and religious organizations on employment and personnel issues, such as drafting and reviewing employment manuals, applications, and policies, as well advising as to best hiring, disciplining and termination practices.

In addition we train managers in the areas of wage & hour law and anti-discrimination law, draft employment agreements, and compensation agreements.  We pay particular attention to pastoral or clergy compensation including “housing allowances” and classifying outside income.

Liability

We counsel clients regarding liability issues and measures to take to reduce liability exposure, including policies and procedures.

For legal advice specifically for church leaders and faith-based organizations, visit our website, churchlawguide.com.