Thursday, July 14, 2016

Give Your House and Live In It Too

By: Laurie Valentine

Joe and Linda decided they wanted to do something significant for their church and they hoped they could use their house to accomplish their giving objectives. They considered making a current gift of their house, but decided against that because they hope to live in it for many more years.

The logical solution seemed to be to add a gift of the house to their church in their wills to take effect after both of them are deceased.

Then Joe and Linda heard about a way to make a gift to their church now, get a sizable current income tax deduction and still be able to live in their home for the rest of their lives. This solution---a retained life estate gift----sounded like the right plan for them.

To make a retained life estate gift homeowners deed their personal residence or farm to a charity through an irrevocable retained life estate agreement. The deed includes a provision reserving to the owners the right to use the property for the rest of their lives. At the death of the last life tenant, the charity becomes the full outright owner of the property.

The value of a retained life estate gift for income tax deduction purposes is the current market value of Joe and Linda’s house reduced by the value of their lifetime right to use the house.

Joe and Linda, as the life tenants, will be expected to maintain property insurance, pay the property taxes and pay for typical maintenance and repair items.

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, July 12, 2016

Gift of A Lifetime

By: Richard Carnes

Each year the Kentucky Baptist Foundation is fortunate to receive estate gifts that were planned in earlier years by thoughtful, forward-looking donors. These donors, through provisions in their wills and other long-term plans, made gifts that might otherwise not have been possible.

Other individuals would like to support the ministries of their church and Baptist causes but think they don’t have anything to give or believe such a gift would compromise their family member’s future security. This is a common feeling but there is encouraging news on ways you can make a gift from assets you accumulated during a lifetime.

Giving through your will can be a convenient way to support the Christian ministries important to you. After first providing for your loved ones, you may decide to make a charitable gift of a specific amount, a percentage of your estate, or all or part of what remains after family and/or friends have been remembered.

While a will is usually the first method that comes to mind when considering a legacy gift, there are other ways to accomplish a donor’s charitable goals. These plans are generally easy to put in place and can be adjusted if your circumstances change. Some of these strategies may include gifting through trusts, gifts of life insurance, gifts of real estate assets or gifts of retirement plan remainders.

Giving through a trust is an often used strategy. Many individuals make use of trusts created during life to provide for management and future distribution of assets, then, at the termination of the trust, direct that a portion of the remaining assets be used for charitable purposes.

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.

If you have questions about these giving strategies 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.


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.