Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Our Time Has Arrived!

By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO

The Kentucky Baptist Foundation was formally conceived by a motion from the floor of the 1943 annual meeting of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, now the Kentucky Baptist Convention, meeting in Bowling Green. It was created in 1944 when the GABK approved its charter. It was incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky on March 8, 1945, almost seventy years ago. The first meeting of its board of directors was held June 19, 1945. Dr. J. W. Black, the General Secretary of the GABK, convened the meeting and agreed to serve as the Secretary-Treasurer of the KBF until other staff arrangements could be made. The late A. M. Vollmer was elected the first full-time executive leader of the KBF effective July 1, 1946. Previously he had served as the superintendent of the Louisville Orphan’s Home. Dr. Vollmer retired August 31, 1964. In his final report to the KBF board of directors, Dr. Vollmer said, “the Foundation has been in the past and will continue to be in the future my first love among all of our Kentucky Baptist projects. This is true because it lives to strengthen all the rest.”

No one has said it any better than Dr. Vollmer. Today, the KBF still exists not for itself but for the rest of our larger and extended Kentucky Baptist family of churches, associations, educational institutions, children’s homes, hospitals, camps and conference centers, mission boards and missions support organizations.

Although the KBF has been serving Kentucky Baptists for almost seventy years, its time has just arrived! Given the significant challenges of financing in the future the missions and ministries of every component of our Kentucky Baptist family, and given the demographic, economic, social, cultural, technological and denominational trends, and their collective impact on charitable giving, the role of the KBF in the future of Kentucky Baptist life will be ever more critical.

Please give Laurie Valentine and me the privilege of facilitating your desire to make a lasting difference in the world for the cause of Christ through your estate plan.

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.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Twelve Steps For Christian Estate Planning- Step #9

By: Laurie Valentine- COO & Trust Counsel

Step #9 Include a Legacy Gift in Your Plan. The Bible reminds us God owns everything and we are merely the managers, not the owners, of all with which he has blessed us. We can “Honor the Lord with your substance” (Proverbs 3:9), by including a gift out of our assets (“substance”) that will help advance God’s Kingdom in this world.

That is what legacy gifts in the context of Christian estate planning are----gifts out of your assets that provide either immediate or deferred benefits to one or more Christian causes you name in your plan. Bequests in Wills and Trusts; designating a Christian cause as a beneficiary of all or a portion of a life insurance policy or retirement account; and gifts that provide benefits first to you and/or others and then to charity are all ways to include a legacy gift in your plan.

Legacy gifts can provide tax savings to the giver and valuable long term financial strength and stability to the charitable cause(s) named to benefit from your gift.

And, most importantly, including a legacy gift in your plan allows you to make a lasting difference for the cause of Christ in this world.

Next Month-Step #10 - Plan Now for Possible Future Incapacity—Part 1.

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, September 2, 2014

State Missions: Now More Than Ever!

By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO

As I reflect upon my 44 years of vocational involvement in state missions in Kentucky, I am struck by the dramatic changes that have occurred in the population, especially from the immigration of the many and varied people groups who have come to Kentucky, the impact of the secular culture on all Kentuckians and the exponential power of technology that spreads instantaneously the negative impact of the secular culture. As a result, the challenge of the Acts 1:8 challenge has become more formidable than ever, and “state missions” now has an “international missions” element inherent in it.

Since 1913 Kentucky WMU has taken an annual offering through the churches for state missions. In 1976 the offering was named for Eliza Broadus, who was a contemporary of Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong, and who led Kentucky WMU in 1913 to begin a state missions offering. And now, more than 100 years later, this offering is more important than it has ever been because of the growing number of lost, unchurched and dechurched people of the Commonwealth as well as the impact of secularization. This offering undergirds, enhances and supplements on-going ministries as well as special projects focused on reaching the lost and making disciples in Kentucky. You may live in or near a community that is impacted directly by ministries that receive funding from this offering.

Because of the added importance of this offering in the future for reaching Kentucky for Christ, let me encourage you not only to continue to give generously to and through the annual offering, but also to consider making a legacy gift now and/or through your estate plan for the benefit of state missions through the Eliza Broadus Offering. In this way you could continue to contribute to this vital effort beyond your lifetime. What a legacy that would leave of your love for Christ and His mission in Kentucky!

You could begin now to contribute to an existing perpetual endowment administered by the KBF from which the earnings are added annually to the offering. Or, you may prefer to establish an endowment yourself. This is the season of prayer for state missions and the EBO offering. What a wonderful time to give Laurie Valentine or me a call to assist you.

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.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Name All Intended Beneficiaries

By: Laurie Valentine- COO & Trust Counsel 

Efficient and effective distribution of assets at death is a key goal of Christian estate planning. To accomplish that goal you must make provision for each and every beneficiary with whom you intend to share your estate.

Leaving everything to one beneficiary with the hope and/or expectation he or she knows what you want and will share your estate with the persons to whom you actually want your estate to pass is not a good idea. Legally, the named beneficiary has exclusive rights and full ownership over anything left to him or her by will or beneficiary designation at your death.

Even if your named beneficiary has every intention of carrying out your wishes, he or she could be in a situation at your death that prevents them from giving away what they inherit from you.

Unintended gift tax liability can also result from the “inheritor” giving away too much, all at once, to the others with whom you wanted your assets shared when you die.

Assure what you own at death will pass to the beneficiaries you intend by naming and including them specifically in your estate planning documents.

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, August 26, 2014

Stewardship Truths #8

A 12 part series discussing stewardship.

By: Barry G. Allen

Live beneath, not within, your means, and save/invest for a rainy day.

Proverbs 21:20 “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.”

Someone has said, “if your out-go exceeds your income then your upkeep will be your downfall.” To live beneath your means requires the deferring of pleasure. In a day of easy credit, we must beware of the self-imposed bondage we can create by carelessly using it. I believe the misuse of debt is the most destructive misuse of any financial tool in our society today.

Remember this: the most nerve-wracking place on earth to live is just beyond your means.

A high percentage of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck and have little or no savings.

Remember this: it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Giving to Religion in the USA

By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO

Charitable giving in the USA attained an all time high in 2007 at $349 billion. Giving in 2013 marked the fourth consecutive year of increased giving but still $14 billion short of the pre recession high. Individuals gave 72% of the total; corporations, foundation and bequests constituted the other 28%. For the year, giving to education increased the most, 7.4% adjusted for inflation, and giving to religion declined 1.6%.

Giving to the religion subsector comprised 31%, the largest share, of all giving in 2013. Compared to most of the subsectors that have seen positive growth since the Great Recession, giving to religion has declined. In the 1980’s religion received over one-half of all giving; now it’s less than one-third. According to Giving USA, the primary reasons for the decline are: changing preferences for religious giving, changes in American religious life and economic factors. The three primary factors that have impacted household giving are: congregational attendance, congregational affiliation and household income. More and more adults are reporting they seldom or never attend religious services. Young people are less likely to attend than older generations, and fewer adults are affiliated with religion than in the past. Among the 30 and younger, one-third are unaffiliated. Decline in household income has had an impact, but lower income households still give a greater portion of income than higher income households.

Congregations of all types and sizes are recognizing that building endowments has become absolutely critical for financial strength and future viability. Best practice today dictates endowments, restricted and unrestricted, should be three to five times the annual church budget and feature giving opportunities similar to colleges and universities.

In its first ever stewardship survey, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) reported more than two-thirds of religious leaders noted their congregations had no written statement on the Bible’s teachings on generosity. No wonder 48% of them stated “spiritual complacency” was their greatest challenge, and a high percentage stated “inadequate understanding of biblical generosity” made fundraising difficult.

The KBF stands ready to equip your church to understand and to adapt to these frightening trends in giving. Call us toll free today!

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, August 12, 2014

Twelve Steps For Christian Estate Planning- Step #8

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 #8 Plan for Death Taxes. 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.

Next Month-Step #9 Include a Legacy Gift in Your Plan

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.