Each country, state, county and city mandates legally specific laws with regards to businesses, this includes the clergy. We encourage each of our members to seek legal information regarding clergy laws in their place of residence from both a lawyer and tax consultant familiar with clergy law. These laws do vary significantly from area to area even within the United States.
In several of the southern states, for instance, the clergy laws occur under the family counseling codes of law and clergy function as expert witnesses for family courts, hospice and guardian ad litem. In California and many other states there are specific mandates for the clergy with regards to elder and child abuse.
Clergy and counseling models blend in many state statutes, thus it is mandatory that all our members follow strict rules of confidentiality. Clergy are held to the confidentiality standards of the counseling, medical and legal professions. UCM believes that as clergy our standard should be impeccable.
Spiritual healing is an integral part of the UCM By Laws Please remember that means spiritual healing and spiritual counseling. At no time should any minister diagnose or treat unless you are a medical professional licensed and qualified to do so, this includes massage and physical therapy.
For quick information we have found a couple of websites that are very helpful.
Find Law.Com www.findlaw.com allows you to research states specifically and has a message board where you can ask a specific question. They do not charge for basic information or questions in the forum.
Legal Zoom www.legalzoom.com provides forms and documentation for businesses including clergy. You may do most of the work yourself, with guidance, or they have a team of lawyers you may draw from. Their fees vary according to each customers requirements.
UCM encourages all our members to report changes in the clergy laws of their countries, states, and cities. We post these changes through our Constant Contact email outreach and on the UCM Blog at www.u-c-m.org under the tab Read our Blog, legal section.
UCM will continue to update from headquarters any changes in the IRS nonprofit laws to our membership.