Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Celebrating Students

By: Richard Carnes

Graduation ceremonies are occurring across the Commonwealth of Kentucky at this time. It is always an exciting time for students and their families as they celebrate the achievement of an educational milestone and look forward to the next phase of the student’s life. For many students, college or technical school awaits them, but some budding young scholars must defer the hope of achieving their academic dream due to a lack of sufficient financial resources.

The Kentucky Baptist Foundation has been honored to work with numerous donors whose passion is helping students secure the necessary financial support to achieve their educational goals. One example of this collaboration is the scholarship funds that donors have established at the Foundation to help off-set the costs of student’s education. The Kentucky Baptist Foundation’s scholarship committee met recently to review student applications and grant scholarship awards for the upcoming academic year. The scholarship committee was privileged to award 74 scholarships to college and seminary students totaling $93,385 from the 17 scholarship endowments administered by the Foundation.

You may share this same passion for education and would like to explore how you can implement a legacy gift plan to fund a scholarship endowment like the ones referenced above. Or you may have a Christian school, college or Baptist seminary that you would like to support through a legacy gift. Also, churches can create scholarship funds through the Foundation that will provide much needed financial assistance to their college bound students.

The Kentucky Baptist Foundation staff is available to assist you by providing guidance in creating these scholarship funds and charitable endowments to support worthy Christian education causes across the state and the nation. 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.




Thursday, June 16, 2016

News You Can Use

By: Laurie Valentine

· 60% of adults in the United States have never made a Last Will and Testament. Making a will is the single most important act of Christian financial stewardship you can ever take.

· If you have not made a Will, the state in which you reside has a plan of asset distribution written for you. Here in the Kentucky that plan is called the “Kentucky Intestate Succession Statute”. There is a good possibility that Kentucky’s “will” sets up a plan of distribution that doesn’t meet your family’s needs or your wishes regarding how your assets will pass at your death.

· A court will decide who will rear any minor children if both parents are deceased and they have not made a will or included a nomination of guardian provision in their will for the children. This is a far more important issue than who will receive your assets at death.

· Kentucky’s plan for asset distribution does not include your church or any other Christian ministry. You also forfeit the option of creating provisions that will benefit both your family and the Lord’s work.

· Without a properly drawn will, the death taxes and cost of administering your estate may be higher, thereby reducing what will be available for your family.

· By having a properly drawn will, you get to choose who serves as executor of your estate.

· By having a properly drawn will you are helping ease family friction at your death. This is especially important at a time when your loved ones are grieving your death.

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, June 1, 2016

A Place to Start

By: Richard Carnes

Individuals who seek guidance from the Kentucky Baptist Foundation often ask for suggestions on how best to start their estate planning process. We suggest using the following four steps as a framework for organizing your thoughts as you begin.

People
The people in your life are central to the planning process. List the individuals for whom you are now financially responsible and those whom you would like to assist in the future. It is also appropriate to include your church and other Christian ministry causes on the list as part of your “family.”

Property
Next, we suggest listing your property. Think of everything you own, including financial assets and tangible property. Begin with income from all sources (salary, investments, rental property, etc.) Also include any current balances in pension plans, individual retirement accounts (IRA’s), 401K plans and other retirement accounts. Beside each asset, list its current value and the asset’s original cost. Finally, note whether you own the asset outright, or with others.

Plans
Your plans begin to take shape as you review the list of persons and consider how you wish to provide for them. Study the various assets you listed to determine which may match the needs of each person or charitable cause you identified as important to you.

Planners
Various professionals play a key part in establishing and advising your estate plan. At the top of the list of planners will often be an attorney and an accountant. Your attorney drafts your will and other legal documents. Your accountant can provide valuable advice on tax matters as well as other estate planning issues, in consultation with your attorney. Others who may participate include life insurance professionals, financial planners, real estate professionals and trust officers.

The staff of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation would be honored to be a part of your planner team. We welcome the opportunity to work with individuals seeking how best to organize their estate planning goals to achieve their personal and charitable objectives. 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.

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.