Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Gift Plans that Benefit Family & Charity

By: Laurie Valentine

Charitable gift planning not only provides a variety of ways for you to provide valuable support to causes that are important to you, it can also help you solve certain personal financial challenges.

One such giving plan is a charitable remainder unitrust (“CRUT”). A CRUT is an irrevocable trust that pays a designated income stream to the giver and/or others for life or a term of years and the remainder to one or more charitable organizations.

A CRUT can provide beneficial ways to solve a variety of financial challenges such as:

Providing Funds for College: Your grandson is starting college this fall and you would like to help with his expenses. A gift of $100,000 to a CRUT that will pay him 15% of the value of the trust assets for 5 years will provide the following benefits: a $45,000 charitable income tax deduction for you; payments averaging $12,400 each year to your grandson; and, at the end of the 5-year trust term, approximately $61,000 (assuming a 6.2% average annual return) left to distribute to the charities you named in the trust agreement.

Financial Assistance for Family Members: You have been providing $500 per month ($6,000 per year) to your 85-year-old father for the past few years. While, at age 65, you have no current health problems, you want to make sure that support would continue for your father, no matter what your future circumstances. A gift of $100,000 to a CRUT paying your father for his lifetime and then you, if you survive him, 6% of the value of the trust assets, as revalued annually, establishes a plan that will provide a gradually growing stream of income to your father, and then you. It also entitles you to an income tax deduction of approximately $36,845 and provides you the opportunity to set up a gift that will provide significant future support to ministries that are important to you.

Laurie Valentine is COO and Trust Counsel for the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, PO Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; (502) 489-3533 or 1-866-489-3533 (Toll-free, Kentucky Only); KYBaptistFoundation.org

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.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Gift of Love

By: Richard Carnes
February is filled with reminders to express our love and affection to those close to us. We may express this affection through romantic greeting cards, bouquets of red roses, abundant chocolate, and candle lite dinners. All of these gestures can be memorable but they are temporary in nature.

A lasting way to say “I love you” is by making provision to care for your loved ones, yourself and charities important to you through creating a written estate plan. Knowing where to begin, what to look for, and what you might expect can help turn this task into an effective plan. A great place to start the process of creating an estate plan that reflects your goals and values is through the Kentucky Baptist Foundation’s Estate Plan Organizer, located on our website, KYBaptistFoundation.org. The Estate Plan Organizer will take you through the estate planning process easily and at your own pace. The whole process can be completed in as few as 30 minutes and you can save your work at any time and return to the Organizer at your convenience.

When you have completed the Organizer, you will have a well thought out design for your estate that reflects your priorities. You will then be well prepared to work with your attorney and financial advisors, who will assist you in structuring an estate and financial plan that best achieves your goals.

An estate plan may not be a glamorous gift, but it is a valuable gift… a gift of love.

The Kentucky Baptist Foundation is honored to work with individuals seeking how best to organize their estate planning goals to achieve their personal and charitable objectives, to support their families, their church and other Baptist causes. To learn more, you may contact the Foundation’s trust counsel, Laurie Valentine, or me at our toll-free number (866) 489-3533.

Richard Carnes is the president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, PO Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; toll-free (866) 489-3533; KYBaptistFoundation.org

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, January 24, 2017

Time For Some Estate Plan Changes?

By: Laurie Valentine

Keeping up with the details of life and changes in our lives takes more time than most of us give it. For many of us, we are so busy watching and planning around the changes occurring at work or school we don’t take time to consider changes that may be occurring in our day-to-day lives and the impact of those changes on planning we have done.

Estate planning is one area of personal planning that doesn’t get a lot of “revisiting”. Your estate plan---your will, power of attorney, health care advanced directives, and beneficiary designations---should be reviewed on a regular basis to make sure it continues to accomplish your planning objectives. Your plan should also be revisited when there are changes in your life and/or that of your family---marriages, births, deaths, divorces, change in state residence, changes in financial status.

Focus on the following as your review your plan:

Fiduciaries. Are the persons you’ve named to serve as executor under your will or successor trustee of your living trust still willing and able to serve? Are you and your spouse still comfortable with the persons you have named to serve as guardians for your children? Is the person named to act under your power of attorney still willing and able to do that?

Beneficiaries. Have there been deaths or births not considered when you had your will or living trust prepared? Have you or one of your beneficiaries married or divorced since then? Do you have an ultimate beneficiary(s) named to receive your estate if all of your family dies before you?

Death Benefits. Are beneficiary designations of life insurance, retirement or IRA benefits coordinated with the plan of distribution under your will or trust?

Assets. Has the value of your estate changed?

Laurie Valentine is COO and Trust Counsel for the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, PO Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; (502) 489-3533 or 1-866-489-3533 (Toll-free, Kentucky Only); KYBaptistFoundation.org

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, January 10, 2017

Why Do You Need A Will?

By: Richard Carnes

Jane Bryant Quinn, a nationally known personal finance commentator, was asked why a person needs a Will. Ms. Quinn answered with the following common sense reply: “You own stuff; you will die; someone will get your stuff.” This response is certainly a good reason to have a personal Last Will and Testament, but there are several additional reasons for preparing your personal Will:

· To be a good steward – a good estate plan reduces death taxes and probate expenses, leaving more for you to pass to your family and charitable causes at your death.

· To avoid the “Will” the state has written for you – Kentucky’s “Intestate Succession Statute” – the state’s plan of asset distribution may not meet your family’s needs or accomplish your estate planning objectives.

· To retain input - Making a Will allows you to determine who will get your “stuff” (your assets) and how the recipients will receive your “stuff” at your death.

· Making a Will allows you to designate whom you want to be appointed as guardian for your children if both parents die before your children reach age 18.

· Making a Will assures smooth administration (probate) of your estate at your death.

· Making a Will allows you to name an executor who will handle the tasks of determining what you own at death, paying your final debts and expenses, managing the assets in your estate, preparing all required tax returns and distributing your assets as your Will directs.

The Kentucky Baptist Foundation’s “Estate Planning Mistakes and Solutions” seminar can provide more answers about why you need a Will. Contact Richard Carnes at richard.carnes@kybaptist.org to schedule this one hour, free seminar at your church.

Also, if you have questions about Christian estate planning strategies or want to request a private estate stewardship consultation, please contact the Kentucky Baptist Foundation’s trust counsel, Laurie Valentine at laurie.valentine@kybaptist.org or call the Foundation’s toll-free number (866) 489-3533.

Richard Carnes is president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, P O Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; toll-free (866) 489-3533; KYBaptistFoundation.org

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.








Monday, December 19, 2016

Year End Tax Planning

By: Laurie Valentine

With December 31 fast approaching, now is a good time to review tax planning actions that you have already taken this year and to discuss with your tax adviser other things you may be able to do before year-end to further reduce your 2016 income taxes.

If you will be in a lower tax bracket in 2017, it may be prudent to defer some of this year’s income until next year and to pay deductible items that you would normally pay in early 2017 before December 31, 2016.

Business and professional people who use the cash accounting method may be able to defer the receipt of income by not billing until year-end for services rendered in 2016. The receipt of a bonus that your employer is free to give or not give can be deferred into next year to lower your 2016 compensation income.

Pay real estate taxes and the January 15 installment of state and local income taxes before December 31 to accelerate these deductible items into the 2016 tax year. If possible, pay all medical bills, if the total will exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income, before year-end to be able to use that expense as a deduction, if you itemize.

Another income tax deduction that is very easy to accelerate is the charitable deduction. You have total control on when this deduction will be available; all you have to do is complete your charitable gifts before December 31.

Make time for year-end tax planning with your advisers; it can beneficial to you and to the charitable causes you wish to support.

Laurie Valentine is COO and Trust Counsel for the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, PO Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; (502) 489-3533 or 1-866-489-3533 (Toll-free, Kentucky Only); KYBaptistFoundation.org

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, December 14, 2016

Your Christian Legacy

By: Richard Carnes 

Have you given much thought to what your legacy will be? Most of us desire to make a difference in the lives of our loved ones. We take steps to ensure they will be taken care of when we are no longer here on this earth. Through proper financial estate preparation we are able to provide this care. But have you also thought about memorializing your Christian faith through the written statement of your last will and testament?

Estate documents present a wonderful opportunity to leave behind a written testimony of your faith in Christ. Evangelist Dwight L. Moody’s Will contained this great example as a lasting expression of his eternal confidence in Christ. “You may have heard that I died. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am alive and well, enjoying the presence of God for eternity. It’s my hope that you will take great joy in my recent promotion. It’s also my prayer and request that if you haven’t discovered the truth about God sending His son to die on the cross so that none should perish, you will seek His truth with great urgency as a personal favor to me.” Another enduring, clear statement was left by Patrick Henry, one of America’s Founding Fathers, who said, “If I had all the goods this world can offer but had not faith in Christ, I would amongst all men be poor indeed.”

You can create your own letter to loved ones, affirming and encouraging them. Consider joining the many Christians who, as a part of their estate planning, have made such statements either by incorporating them into the text of their planning documents, or in letters to be found with their documents following their death. Such statements would be treasured and serve as a witness to those you leave behind.

The staff of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation are available to you for a private, confidential estate stewardship and legacy planning consultation. To request a consultation, please contact the Foundation’s trust counsel, Laurie Valentine, or me at our toll-free number (866) 489-3533.

Richard Carnes is the president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, PO Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; toll-free (866) 489-3533; KYBaptistFoundation.org.

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.



Friday, December 2, 2016

Preparing for the Future

By: Richard Carnes

Scripture and life experiences teach that there are important differences between capital and income. Income is earned on a regular basis and is spent meeting daily needs. Unspent income typically becomes part of our capital and is invested in savings accounts, houses, retirement accounts, businesses and more. We work hard to accumulate sufficient capital over our working years to enable us to live off the income the capital produces when we cease working to earn a regular salary.

Another word for capital might be “endowment”. An endowment is simply a collection of assets that are invested to produce income that can be used for personal or charitable purposes. We most commonly think of endowment as financial assets and investments, but the Old Testament contains significant examples of God using capital to advance His Kingdom. In reading Genesis 41 we learn of a time early in Israel’s history when God used Joseph to advise the king of Egypt to store grain in anticipation of a looming seven years of famine. God inspired Joseph, and this grain storage became an endowment that kept the people from starvation. From this saved population descended the Savior of the world.

As we evaluate what God has entrusted to us in the way of capital assets within our estates, we must acknowledge the three possible destinations for our assets. We can transfer assets to loved ones, to Christian ministries that have significantly impacted our lives, or we can endow the U.S. Government through taxes paid to the Internal Revenue Service. Fortunately, many faithful Baptists are looking at the ministries of their churches and prayerfully considering what God is inspiring them to do. Individuals can help sustain Christian ministries during a time when their local church may experience a “famine” of financial support for regular ministry efforts.

To make intentional plans to care for your families and the ministries God is inspiring you to support, the Kentucky Baptist Foundation is a resource to call upon. If you have questions or desire a private estate stewardship consultation, please contact the Foundation’s trust counsel, Laurie Valentine, or me at our toll-free number (866) 489-3533.

Richard Carnes is the president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, P O Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; toll-free (866) 489-3533; KYBaptistFoundation.org.

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.