Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Christian Estate Planning Basics

By: Laurie Valentine

A Christian estate plan is one that has been developed by prayerfully determining how God wants you to provide for your family and other “dependents” at your death and how your finances will be managed and decisions will be made for you if, at some point in the future, you are no longer able to do that for yourself because of a stroke, dementia or accident.

To accomplish God’s plan for who is to receive what you own when you die you need a will designating how your probate estate assets (individually-owned assets and amounts payable to your estate or executor at your death) will pass at your death.

The distribution plan in your will should be coordinated with life insurance and retirement plan beneficiary designations.

And, you must also look at how your assets are titled as assets titled as joint tenants with rights of survivorship do not pass under your will; they pass to the surviving joint owner.

God’s plan for asset management and decision-making in the event you become incapacitated can be accomplished by making a durable power of attorney. Using a durable power of attorney allows you to empower someone of your choosing to make decisions for you and manage your finances if you become incapacitated.

To assure the appropriate person(s) have authority to make healthcare decisions for you if you are incapacitated a healthcare surrogate designation should also be considered. And, by making a living will directive you can put in writing your wishes regarding the continuation of life-prolonging medical procedures in the event of a terminal condition diagnosis.

Be a good steward of all with which God has blessed you by taking time to do Christian estate planning.

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, May 3, 2016

Questions You Should Ask

By: Richard Carnes

George Kinder, author of the personal financial planning book Seven Stages of Money Maturity, asks his clients the following three questions to help focus the client’s goal planning.

Question 1. Imagine that you have all the money you need now and in the future. What will you do with this financial abundance? How will you live your life? What if anything will you change in your lifestyle? Let yourself dream by describing a life that for you is complete and richly yours.

Question 2. You have just come from a doctor appointment and your physician told you that you have five years to live. The good part is you won’t ever feel sick. The bad part is that you will have no notice of your death. How will you live your life in light of this knowledge? What, if anything, will you change?

Question 3. You have just come from a doctor appointment and this time your physician tells you that you have only one day left in your life. The question you have now is not how to spend the hours that remain. Instead, ask yourself what am I feeling? What are my regrets and longings? What dreams will be left unfulfilled? What do I wish I had finished that is incomplete?

As I reflected on these three life scenarios my thoughts turned to Jesus’ parable found in Luke 12:16-21 of the rich man who decided to tear down his barns and build bigger ones, with the intent to take it easy; eat, drink and enjoy himself. God says to the man “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself.” This is a tragic consequence of storing up treasure purely for self while not being rich toward God.

The Kentucky Baptist Foundation staff is honored to assist numerous Kentucky Baptists that have sought God’s direction on how they should consider planning their financial matters in order to provide for their families, their church and other Baptist ministry causes. These thoughtful Christian stewards have followed a very different life path to that of the rich man in Jesus’ parable.

If you have questions about Christian estate planning topics or want to request 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, 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.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Choosing a Trustee

By: Laurie Valentine

A trust can be a helpful estate planning tool.

Whether you are using a revocable living trust as part of your plan for management of assets in the event of incapacity or an irrevocable trust for tax planning, one of the most important decisions is your choice for trustee.

Under Kentucky law, the trustee may be an individual or a bank, trust company or other entity that has trust powers. An individual serving as trustee does not have to be resident of Kentucky nor do they have to be related to you.

Think about the types of assets that are, or may be, in the trust. You will want to name a trustee that understands the management of those types of assets, knows about taxes, investments and financial matters.

The trustee should be someone who is a self-starter. There is little supervision of the management of a trust. Your choice should be someone that will not neglect their responsibilities due to lack of time, interest or knowledge.

Don’t just assume the person or entity you wish to name as trustee is willing to serve. Ask them before you complete your planning and, if possible, allow them to review the trust agreement before it is signed.

Finally, make sure that you have selected a trustee who can be objective. Trustees must make decisions that affect the interests of both the income beneficiaries and the remainder beneficiaries. While family members may be appropriate choices, in some cases you may need to consider a professional, corporate or institutional trustee. Corporate trustees are accountable not only to the beneficiaries of the trust, but also to their own management, directors, auditors and other examiners.

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, April 5, 2016

Senior Celebration

By: Richard Carnes

Annually the Kentucky Baptist Convention conducts a wonderful multi-site event entitled Senior Living Celebrations for Kentucky Baptist senior adults. This year’s theme is Armored For Victory, based on the scripture passage of Ephesians 6:13-18. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate at either FBC Madisonville on April 18, Severns Valley Baptist Church on April 19 or FBC Richmond on April 21. The Kentucky Baptist Foundation is honored to again sponsor the breakfast at each celebration and provide leadership for one of the workshops that will be offered during this event.

This popular Kentucky Baptist Convention event is always well attended by enthusiastic senior adults who come to worship, learn and celebrate life together. This year, there will be over a dozen workshops at each location, covering topics such as tips on physical well-being, growth in prayer, navigating Medicare, missions and ministry opportunities for seniors, travel tips for your next senior adult trip, and more.

The Kentucky Baptist Foundation’s trust counsel, Laurie Valentine, will lead an excellent workshop session titled “Who Will Be in Charge If”, which explores what happens without planning for possible future incapacity. The session will detail the essential aspects of key incapacity planning tools including Powers of Attorney, Healthcare Advance Directives, and Living Trusts. Why is this topic so important? We should anticipate and plan for the possible event of an accident or an illness that leaves us incapable of making decisions for ourselves and incapable of managing our finances. Laurie’s seminar on this topic will equip you with the understanding of key documents you can put in place to ensure that should an incapacity occur, you and your loved ones will be properly cared for and the individuals you’ve selected to act on your behalf have the necessary authorization.

Laurie and I hope to see you at one of the upcoming Senior Living Celebration events so you too can be armored for victory. Come join us for breakfast and be sure to attend one of Laurie’s workshop sessions during the day. If you are not able to attend, you may always contact us directly to discuss how best to organize your estate planning goals to achieve your personal and charitable objectives to support your church and other Baptist causes. To learn more, you may contact 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.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Support Until The Lord Returns

By: Laurie Valentine

You do not have to be wealthy to be able to set up a plan that will provide financial support until the Lord returns to charitable causes that are important to you.

Providing ongoing support for your church; state, national and/or international missions; ministries to hurting children and their families; disaster relief; and/or other causes can be accomplished through the creation of a new endowment fund or by making gifts to an existing endowment fund.

An endowment fund is a permanent, perpetual fund managed either by the cause benefited by your gift or another entity such as the Kentucky Baptist Foundation. Only the earnings from the endowment fund are distributed for use by the cause(s) you name as beneficiaries; the original value of what you give is never distributed.

A large gift is not required to establish an endowment fund with the Kentucky Baptist Foundation. It can be started with any amount and you can add to it from time to time over your lifetime. This permits even those of modest means to do much more than they ever dreamed possible. As the endowment fund grows, more lives will be touched and blessed through the support provided.

Establishing (or adding to) an endowment fund during your lifetime may provide income tax savings if you itemize deductions and capital gains tax savings if you use appreciated assets to fund your gift.

All good things come from God. Establishing an endowment fund, whether through a single large gift or a lifetime of more modest levels of giving, permits you to demonstrate your gratitude for God’s blessings and your desire to be involved in touching lives in His name.

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, March 8, 2016

Serving With A Great Board

By: Richard Carnes

As CEO of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation (KBF) I am honored and blessed to be supported and guided by an excellent board of directors. The sixteen men and women who serve as directors of the KBF are elected by the Kentucky Baptist Convention messengers during the KBC’s annual meeting. All of these individuals are active members in their local Kentucky Baptist church and they each bring unique professional experiences to the financial stewardship ministry of the KBF.

A nonprofit board member plays a vital role in the ongoing success of an organization’s ministry. While each organization has unique characteristics, nonprofit boards usually have decision-making responsibility on strategy, direction, policy and governance. A board’s scope of responsibility normally includes:

· Defining the organization’s mission and goals, and making decisions on strategy.

· Monitoring organizational performance to confirm the organization is being managed capably and there is accountability for the organization’s operations and results.

· Providing effective stewardship of the organization’s resources.

· Overseeing the stability of the organization in critical areas, including financial statement integrity and internal risk systems and controls.

· Recruiting, selecting, supporting and assessing the organization’s chief executive.

· Evaluating and strengthening the board’s effectiveness.

· Enhancing the organization’s public image and generating support for its activities.

Directors of a nonprofit organization such as the KBF have fiduciary duties and thus have the responsibility to protect and preserve the organization’s resources for the ministry and charitable purposes for which the organization was established. This means that the directors accept a stewardship role over the KBF’s assets to confirm that resources are utilized in a reasonable and appropriate way. As persons of trust, board members have the authority and obligation to act prudently, honestly and in good faith on behalf of their nonprofit entity.

Kentucky Baptists can be assured that the KBF’s board of directors and staff work diligently to fulfill its stewardship duty in all facets of its work. The Kentucky Baptist Foundation is honored to work with Kentucky Baptist families that are seeking how best to organize their estate planning goals to achieve their personal and charitable objectives in support of 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 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.



Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Flexible Life Income Gift

By: Laurie Valentine

Are the “minimum distribution rules” requiring you to take more from your IRA than you currently need for living expenses? Are you interested in establishing a charitable gift plan that will ultimately provide a significant gift to one or more charitable causes, while allowing you to “tap in” to an income stream at a later age?

A “flexible deferred charitable gift annuity” may be the way to solve your problem and accomplish your charitable giving objectives.

A deferred charitable gift annuity is gift plan in which a charity agrees, in exchange for a gift of cash, appreciated securities or real estate, to make fixed payments to the giver and/or one other person for their lifetime(s) beginning at least one year and one day after the gift is made. At the death of the “life income” beneficiary(s), whatever remains is paid out to the charitable cause(s) the giver designated.

While the annuity payments don’t start for a year or more, the giver is entitled to a charitable income tax deduction in the year the gift is made to the charity.

A “flexible deferred charitable gift annuity” offers an additional benefit. Instead of designating a particular, unchangeable start date for the annuity payments, the flexible gift annuity contract reserves to the giver the right to postpone the decision about the actual annuity payment start date until later.

Your charitable income tax deduction will be determined using the earliest date on which you can “turn on” the annuity payments. And, the annuity payment amount will vary depending on when you elect to start the payments…the longer you wait, the higher the annuity payment amount.

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.