Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Why Are Churches Overlooked?

By: Barry G. Allen

Why do church members overlook their churches when making planned gifts? Planned gifts are gifts church members can’t put in the offering plate; they are gifts out of assets, not income; gifts made in light of the church member’s overall estate and financial plans; gifts that use tax-advantaged methods to accomplish the church member’s philanthropic objectives; and gifts that may require professional adviser assistance to complete.

Churches are the most overlooked charities in estate stewardship and planned giving. Church members are more likely to include in their estate plans or make a planned gift to a college, children’s ministry, human need ministry, the arts or a museum, but not a church.

We have discovered through assisting individuals and families the most likely reasons church members overlook their churches are these. First, they are never asked by their church leadership even to consider including the church in their estate plan or to make a planned gift during life. Second, most church members, even those who tithe out of their incomes, understand tithing as something one does during life, but not at death. Third, they lack confidence the church has the ability to administer such a gift. Fourth, they were unsatisfied with the effectiveness on the church’s ministry. Fifth, they did not have the level of esteem for the church’s leadership required to make such a gift.

Let me encourage you not to overlook your church in your estate stewardship. To the extent Laurie Valentine, our trust counsel, can be of assistance to you, please give her that privilege. Call her toll-free. There is no cost or obligation for this consultation service. Furthermore, she can suggest proven solutions for consideration in overcoming the obstacles others have mentioned as reasons they did not include their church in their plans.

Also, let me encourage you to visit our website at www.kybaptistfoundation.org for valuable charitable gift planning information, including an interactive estate plan organizer, which is a terrific secure and private data gathering, tutorial, decision-making tool.

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

Barry Allen is the retired President and CEO of the KBF and currently serves as a consultant to the interim management team. This article published in this week's Western Recorder also appeared in a previous edition of the paper. 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 15, 2015

12 Creative Giving Ideas for 2015- #4

By: Laurie Valentine-Acting President, CFO & Trust Counsel

Using life insurance to make a legacy gift allows you to make a larger gift than you may have ever dreamed possible. That’s because the premiums you pay are generally significantly less than the life insurance death benefit.

There are two ways to make a legacy gift with life insurance. You can name the charity the primary or contingent beneficiary of the policy or you can transfer ownership and all rights in the policy to a charity.

Naming one or more charities as the primary or contingent beneficiary of a life insurance policy is simple. Doing that provides no current tax benefits to you, but does set up a plan to fund a potentially significant gift to the named charitable beneficiaries at your death for which your estate would get an estate tax deduction.

Transferring ownership of a life insurance policy to charity is a charitable contribution for income tax deduction purposes. If the policy is paid-up, the charity holds it until you die and collects the death benefit. If premiums are still due on the policy, cash gifts you make in future years to the charity to provide the funds for premium payments are additional charitable gifts. If you get to the point you can no longer provide funds for future premiums, or don’t want to do that from the outset, the charity can cash in the policy or adjust the death benefit to take it to “paid up” status.

Leverage your legacy giving through a life insurance gift.

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, April 7, 2015

Give to God and Caesar

By: Barry G. Allen

Legacy giving by us Christians is unique and distinct because it is a spiritually motivated, not a tax motivated decision.

However, much of the legacy giving in the USA is driven by tax avoidance, not biblical stewardship principles. As Americans we still enjoy the most favorable tax system in the world in terms of encouraging and facilitating charitable giving. So without question we should seek to maximize the available tax benefits in our giving. But, at the end of the day we christians must recognize we shall be held accountable by God for how we steward what He has entrusted to us. And, a legacy gift is a gift you can’t put in the offering plate; it is a gift out of your assets, not your income, and it is made in light of your overall estate and financial plans.

It is important to remember charitable giving in America preceded all of our current tax systems. Many charitable organizations were created and continuously funded through generous outright gifts, bequests in wills and life income gifts before the establishment of the modern federal income tax in 1913, the federal estate tax in 1917 and the federal gift tax in 1935.

I am pleased to acknowledge those whom the KBF has had the privilege of assisting have demonstrated their primary motivation to give was not the tax savings opportunities, but the opportunities to make an impact, to make a lasting difference, to leave a legacy of their love for Christ and His mission in this world through their churches and other christian ministries near and dear to their hearts.

Having said that, taxes can play an important role in the size and the timing of legacy gifts. Inherent in the mission of the KBF is to facilitate the making of legacy gifts by simplifying the process and ensuring each giver is maximizing the tax savings opportunities available. To that end the KBF makes available to all Kentucky Baptists confidential estate and charitable gift planning consultation.

Please call toll free Laurie Valentine, our trust counsel, for assistance in fulfilling the teaching of Jesus to “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s” (Matthew 22:21).

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

Barry Allen is the retired President and CEO of the KBF and currently serves as a consultant to the interim management team. This article published in this week's Western Recorder also appeared in a previous edition of the paper. 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, March 26, 2015

Giving without “Strings”

By Laurie Valentine-Acting President, CFO & Trust Counsel

If making a simple gift now without keeping for yourself any rights or interest in what you give sounds like something you want to do, an outright legacy gift to your church or other charitable cause is the type of charitable gift that will accomplish that objective.

An outright legacy gift is a gift of an asset to charity during your lifetime. The charity becomes the full owner of what you give it and you have no further right to income or anything else from the asset you give.

Any type of asset may be used---cash; stocks; bonds; mutual fund shares; real estate; cash value life insurance policies; and interests in business.

Using appreciated assets to make an outright legacy gift can provide several benefits including a charitable income tax deduction based on the current market value of the gifted asset (if you’ve owned it for at least a year) and avoidance of the capital gains tax that would be incurred if you sold the asset.

Make a lasting difference for the cause of Christ in this world through an outright, “no strings attached” legacy gift to your church or other Christian cause.

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, March 24, 2015

A Christ-centered Will

By: Barry G. Allen

New Testament professor R.E.O. White taught the permanent value of Paul’s letter to the Colossians is its value both as a theological feast and a spiritual tonic. Paul’s purpose in writing was both to instruct a questioning faith and to enrich daily Christian life. Both the fullness of Christ and the Christ-filled life are affirmed by Paul. His fullness is affirmed in relation to God, the universe, the church and experience.

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we strive daily to reflect a Christ-filled life. In Colossians 1:16, Paul acknowledged “all things were created by Him and for Him” to fulfill His purposes and to promote His glory. How we plan our estates very likely will be the single most important act of financial stewardship we will ever make. Therefore, it is vitally important we acknowledge and affirm His Lordship in our lives with a last will and testament that is Christ-centered. Through faithful estate stewardship we impact the world for Jesus Christ, we advance His Kingdom and we acknowledge His Lordship. Furthermore, obedience in this realm and writing a Christ-centered will enriches our daily lives as we find contentment in knowing the financial resources He entrusted to us in life will be used in fulfilling His purposes and promoting His glory beyond our lives on this earth.

A bequest in a will or revocable living trust for the benefit of your church and other Christian causes is the simplest and most popular way to have a Christ-centered will. The bequest can be a specific sum, percentage or asset; it can be undesignated or designated; it can be outright or for perpetual support through an endowment fund. The reason a bequest is so popular is it allows one to retain complete control and use of the financial resources until death when they are no longer needed.

In 1 Timothy 6:7 Paul reminds us financial resources are temporal; they provide for our basic needs, but we must put godliness above everything else: “For we brought nothing into this world and we can take nothing out of it.” When you and I gain that truth, we gain something lasting.

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

Barry Allen is the retired President and CEO of the KBF and currently serves as a consultant to the interim management team. This article published in this week's Western Recorder also appeared in a previous edition of the paper. 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, March 19, 2015

12 Creative Giving Ideas for 2015- #2

By: Laurie Valentine-Acting President, CFO & Trust Counsel 

If your goal is to make a simple “no strings attached” gift now, an outright legacy gift to your church or other charitable cause is the type of legacy gift to make.

An outright legacy gift is a gift of one or more assets during your lifetime. The charity becomes the full owner of what you give it.

Any type of asset may be used---principal cash; stocks, bonds, mutual fund shares; real estate; cash value life insurance policies; retirement accounts; and interests in business.

Using appreciated assets to make an outright legacy gift can provide several benefits---a charitable income tax deduction based on the current market value of the asset (if you’ve owned it for at least a year) and avoidance of all or a portion of the capital gains tax that would be incurred if you sold the asset.

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, March 11, 2015

This Sacred Trust

By: Barry G. Allen

Oliver Wendell Holmes advised this: “Put not your trust in money; rather put your money in trust.” What better trust than one that honors Christ and provides a perpetual benefit for the advancement of His Kingdom through the mission of one or more of your favorite Baptist organizations, including your church?

Your Kentucky Baptist Foundation is Kentucky Baptists’ one and only “trust agency.” It is a “sacred trust” in that it is set apart and dedicated to receiving and administering endowment and trust funds for the perpetual benefit of Kingdom advance through the support of the missionary, educational and benevolent ministries of your larger Baptist family in Kentucky and to the ends of the earth, which include churches, associations, KBC related institutions, agencies, auxiliary and partnering organizations, the KBC Mission Board and SBC related entities. In the realms of estate stewardship consultation and perpetual funds management, everyone needs someone they can trust to provide solutions to the philanthropic goals the Lord has laid upon their hearts. For 70 years, your Kentucky Baptist Foundation has remained worthy of the trust of its Baptist family.

It’s trustworthy because it brings the very highest business and ethical standards in fulfilling its mission as a “sacred trust.” It is trustworthy in the fact it does not exist for itself but for the rest of its Baptist family. It is trustworthy because of the proven quality, integrity and prudence in the management and methods by which it is led and governed. It is trustworthy because of the hundreds of Kentucky Baptists who have utilized it to accomplish the Christian stewardship purposes they understood God was calling them to accomplish with the financial resources He entrusted to them.

We want to extend to you the services of this “sacred trust,” called the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, to facilitate the stewardship of that which the Lord has entrusted to you to use for His purposes. Laurie Valentine, our trust counsel, is awaiting your toll-free call.

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

Barry Allen is the retired President and CEO of the KBF and currently serves as a consultant to the interim management team. This article published in this week's Western Recorder also appeared in a previous edition of the paper. 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.