Thursday, December 18, 2014

Stewardship Truths- #12

A 12 part series discussing stewardship.

By: Barry G. Allen
Leave a legacy like Abel, who offered God a more acceptable sacrifice than his brother Cain

Hebrews 11:4: "By faith Abel offered God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain did. By faith Abel was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And, by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead."

Abel's offering was made in faith. His outward gift revealed his inward faith and righteousness for subsequent ages to see. His example of faith - his legacy - speaks to every generation, not simply as an immortal memory, but as a stimulus for each of us to follow Abel's example and leave a lasting legacy of our faith beyond our lifetime.

Contact Laurie Valentine or Barry Allen for assistance in how to "leave a lasting legacy" through your estate plan for the benefit of your church and other causes near and dear to your heart.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

12 Steps For Christian Estate Planning

By: Laurie Valentine- COO & Trust Counsel

A Christian estate plan is one you develop by determining how God wants you to: (1) provide for your family and other “dependents” at your death and (2) have your finances managed and decisions made for you if you became incapacitated and no longer able to do those things for yourself.

Step #12 Don’t Wait! Failing to plan is really planning to fail. And, failing to keep your plan up-to-date may be even worse.

You don’t have to have all the answers to get started. Most estate planning documents are changeable. So, you can start with fairly simple documents and then “tweak” them from time to time throughout your life as you sense God’s plan for how you should provide for your family and other beneficiaries changes.

And, make sure to review your plan on a regular basis (every three to five years) and also when there are significant changes in your family (births, marriages, deaths, etc.) and/or in what you own. Look at everything---your estate planning documents; how all assets are titled; and beneficiary designations. Determine if: (1) the alternate beneficiaries for the shares of beneficiaries who have died are still who you want; (2) the possibility you might have more children/grandchildren was provided for in your existing documents; and (3) the persons named to serve as executor, trustee, power of attorney are still willing and able to serve in those capacities.

For more information, please call us at (502) 489-3533 or toll free in KY at 1(866) 489-3533.

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Simplify…Multiply…Dignify

By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO

With all of life’s complexities with which we are bombarded daily, the idea of simplifying anything sounds refreshing, does it not? Even though we Christians know the reason for the season we still seem to get caught up in the complexities of shopping, cooking, entertaining and traveling and miss the full blessings of giving.

So, why not simplify your life, avoid some of the complexities of the holidays, do more for Christ and make sure your giving reflects the true spirit of Christmas.

And while you are at it, why not multiply your giving to make your gifts go further? If you are about to write checks to your church and other charitable organizations let me suggest you consider instead gifting appreciated stocks or mutual fund shares, if that is an option for you. By gifting appreciated assets you avoid the capital gains tax, and therefore, lower the cost of your gifts or multiply the value of what you give versus cash gifts.

In addition, why not consider establishing with the KBF a donor advised fund to which you can make cash gifts and appreciated stock gifts to take advantage of the tax deduction in 2014 but defer the distributions to your church and other charitable organizations to 2015 or later? This is another practical way to multiply your giving. Call Laurie Valentine or me toll-free for more information on this simple, but effective tax-advantaged giving option.

Finally, why not dignify your giving by considering a legacy gift that pays tribute to someone you love, or one that would perpetuate your own Christian witness beyond your life time? A legacy gift to the KBF to establish a permanent endowment for the perpetual benefit of your church and other charitable organizations near and dear to your heart would be a wonderful way to dignify your 2014 giving. You could start with a modest gift and make additional gifts in the future, including a bequest or beneficiary designation in your estate plan. Laurie and I are just a toll-free phone call away to assist you.

Tis the season to simplify, multiply and dignify.

For more information, please call us at (502) 489-3533 or toll free in KY at 1(866) 489-3533.

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Stewardship Truths- #11

A 12 part series discussing stewardship.

By: Barry G. Allen

Do not let “things” distort what are the true riches in life.

       Proverbs 16:16: “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver.”

       Proverbs 22:1: “A good name is more desirable than great riches and to be esteemed is better 
       than silver or gold.”

Proverbs 23:4-5: “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”

According to God’s Word, true riches are wisdom, understanding, a good reputation and esteem – and – these are worth more than silver or gold.

Furthermore, God’s word reminds and cautions us to the reality that “things” are transient and elusive. Like an eagle, they will suddenly soar away out of reach toward the heavens.





Therefore, do not wear yourself out in the struggle for them.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Plan for Death Taxes

By: Laurie Valentine-COO & Trust Counsel 

Christian estate planning may be the single most important act of financial stewardship a Christian may take. Not planning to defer, reduce or eliminate your death tax liability is poor stewardship----assets that could have been preserved for family must be sold to raise funds to pay those taxes and less estate value remains to pass to family and other beneficiaries.

There are two death taxes that may be owed at the death of a Kentucky resident----federal estate tax and Kentucky inheritance tax.

Federal estate tax is owed if the total value of all of your assets at your death, whether individually-owned, jointly-owned, or beneficiary-designated and wherever situated, exceeds (for 2014) $5,340,000. Federal estate tax assets include life insurance, retirement accounts and assets in trusts. Gifts to a surviving spouse or charity at your death provide federal estate tax savings because their value reduces the portion of your estate subject to such taxes.

Kentucky Inheritance Tax is a death tax owed by some beneficiaries, no matter where they live, on the value of what they inherit from a Kentucky resident. Your spouse, children, grandchildren, siblings and charitable beneficiaries are exempt from having to pay Kentucky Inheritance Tax, no matter how much they inherit from you. All other beneficiaries will have to pay inheritance tax if what they inherit from you exceeds very modest exempt amounts----$1,000 for nieces, nephews, children-in-law, aunts, uncles; $500 for all other individuals and non-charitable organizations.

For more information, please call us at (502) 489-3533 or toll free in KY at 1(866) 489-3533.

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My Story

By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO

I made my profession of faith in Jesus Christ during the spring revival of my home church, the FBC, Grenada, MS, on March 10, 1958. I was 9 ½ years old. I was baptized on April 27.

I had the blessing of having been born and reared in a Christian home by devout Christian parents who were my role models in life and who demonstrated by their lives and their lips what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and live one’s life according to the Scriptures.

Our church was what I would characterize as a full service Southern Baptist church and understood its mission to be: exalt the Savior, equip the saints and evangelize the sinner. Both of my parents were church leaders and involved my three sisters and me in every aspect of the bible study, discipleship, music and missions ministries of the church. Our family was involved in pioneer missions to the western part of the USA in cooperation with the Mississippi Baptist Convention and the Home Mission Board, SBC in the early 1960’s long before it was called “partnership missions.” There has never been a time in my life I did not know about Jesus.

Even though I had received this accumulation of spiritual nourishment from my parents and my church, I still had to come to that point to which every person has to come, that is, the realization and confession of my sinful and self-centered nature. It was on the night of March 10, 1958 during that revival I confessed and repented of my sin, asked Jesus to forgive me and to come into my life to save and mold me into the person He wanted me to be. And, from that time until now there has never been a time I have not felt the Lord’s presence watching over and guiding me in everything I do. My life verse became Proverbs 3:6: “In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.” My favorite hymn became “Our Best.” Do you remember the words: “Give of your best to the Master …?”

Another part of my story is the good fortune and blessing of having discovered early in my life not only God’s vocational call, but also the field of service in which He wanted me to fulfill that call. I give Him thanks for the 44 years of service to Kentucky Baptists.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Twelve Steps For Christian Estate Planning- Step #11

By: Laurie Valentine- COO & Trust Counsel
Step #11-Plan Now for Possible Future Incapacity-Part 2. Planning for the possibility a stroke, accident or illness might, in the future, leave you incapable of making decisions for yourself and unable to manage your finances must be done while you can understand what you are doing. You cannot wait until something happens to take action as you may not have the mental capacity needed to sign the necessary legal documents.

A Durable Power of Attorney is the document you can use to empower someone to manage your finances and deal with your assets, if you become incapacitated. You can name anyone to act for you under a power of attorney (POA). Care should be taken in deciding who to name as that person will be using the POA when you are no longer able to watch what they are doing. And, consider naming a first choice and an alternate to better assure there will always be someone of your choosing handling things for you if you can’t.

For healthcare decision-making, you can include healthcare decision-making powers in a POA or you can use a separate Healthcare Surrogate Designation document.

And, to assure your wishes regarding discontinuing or not starting medical treatment if you are diagnosed with a terminal condition, you should executive a Living Will Directive.

Next Month-Step #12 - Don't Wait! 

For more information, please call us at (502) 489-3533 or toll free in KY at 1(866) 489-3533.

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.