Friday, November 21, 2014

Plan for Death Taxes

By: Laurie Valentine-COO & Trust Counsel 

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.

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, November 18, 2014

My Story

By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO

I made my profession of faith in Jesus Christ during the spring revival of my home church, the FBC, Grenada, MS, on March 10, 1958. I was 9 ½ years old. I was baptized on April 27.

I had the blessing of having been born and reared in a Christian home by devout Christian parents who were my role models in life and who demonstrated by their lives and their lips what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and live one’s life according to the Scriptures.

Our church was what I would characterize as a full service Southern Baptist church and understood its mission to be: exalt the Savior, equip the saints and evangelize the sinner. Both of my parents were church leaders and involved my three sisters and me in every aspect of the bible study, discipleship, music and missions ministries of the church. Our family was involved in pioneer missions to the western part of the USA in cooperation with the Mississippi Baptist Convention and the Home Mission Board, SBC in the early 1960’s long before it was called “partnership missions.” There has never been a time in my life I did not know about Jesus.

Even though I had received this accumulation of spiritual nourishment from my parents and my church, I still had to come to that point to which every person has to come, that is, the realization and confession of my sinful and self-centered nature. It was on the night of March 10, 1958 during that revival I confessed and repented of my sin, asked Jesus to forgive me and to come into my life to save and mold me into the person He wanted me to be. And, from that time until now there has never been a time I have not felt the Lord’s presence watching over and guiding me in everything I do. My life verse became Proverbs 3:6: “In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.” My favorite hymn became “Our Best.” Do you remember the words: “Give of your best to the Master …?”

Another part of my story is the good fortune and blessing of having discovered early in my life not only God’s vocational call, but also the field of service in which He wanted me to fulfill that call. I give Him thanks for the 44 years of service to Kentucky Baptists.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Twelve Steps For Christian Estate Planning- Step #11

By: Laurie Valentine- COO & Trust Counsel
Step #11-Plan Now for Possible Future Incapacity-Part 2. Planning for the possibility a stroke, accident or illness might, in the future, leave you incapable of making decisions for yourself and unable to manage your finances must be done while you can understand what you are doing. You cannot wait until something happens to take action as you may not have the mental capacity needed to sign the necessary legal documents.

A Durable Power of Attorney is the document you can use to empower someone to manage your finances and deal with your assets, if you become incapacitated. You can name anyone to act for you under a power of attorney (POA). Care should be taken in deciding who to name as that person will be using the POA when you are no longer able to watch what they are doing. And, consider naming a first choice and an alternate to better assure there will always be someone of your choosing handling things for you if you can’t.

For healthcare decision-making, you can include healthcare decision-making powers in a POA or you can use a separate Healthcare Surrogate Designation document.

And, to assure your wishes regarding discontinuing or not starting medical treatment if you are diagnosed with a terminal condition, you should executive a Living Will Directive.

Next Month-Step #12 - Don't Wait! 

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, November 4, 2014

Biblical Examples of Giving

By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO

Someone once said, “Two things I’ve had in life in ample supply, good advice and poor examples.” One of the great things about the Bible is it not only gives good advice, it gives good examples. Below are six worthy of emulation.

First is the example of the poor widow (Luke 21:1-4). In terms of the coins she used she made the smallest gift. But to Jesus, in comparison to what the wealthy gave, she made the most significant gift. To Jesus, the gift that counts is the gift that costs; it’s not the size of the gift but the size of the sacrifice; it’s not the amount but the proportion; it’s not the depth of our pockets, but the depth of our love and commitment to Him. No one is excluded from making a worthy gift to our Lord.

Second, Zacchaeus is an example of a person of wealth who gave over and above the normal (Luke 19:1-10). He was such a successful businessman and tax collector he had become wealthy. When he decided to follow Jesus, he freely vowed, “…I give half of my possessions to the poor.” What an example of generosity for those who have wealth!

Third, the woman with the alabaster jar of expensive perfume (Mark 14:1-9) is an example of a single person who was just getting by financially but out of gratitude made a sacrificial gift to the Lord.

Fourth, Barnabas (Acts 4:36-37) used a piece of real estate to make a legacy gift for the Lord’s work “with no strings attached.”

Fifth, the Macedonian Christians (2 Corinthians 8:1-5) literally gave out of their poverty and beyond their ability for the privilege of being involved financially in the Lord’s work.

Sixth, the Lord Jesus Christ stands as the supreme example and motivation for us as Christians to give faithfully, generously and cheerfully (2 Corinthians 8:9).

The Bible is true (Acts 20:35) and these examples above provide proof, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” So, give it a try; I promise you will be blessed.

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, October 28, 2014

Stewardship Truths-#10

A 12 part series discussing stewardship.

By: Barry G. Allen

Enjoy the resources God has entrusted to you; share them to help others and invest them in ways that touch peoples’ lives in the name of Christ.

1 Timothy 6:17 – 19 “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of life that is truly life.”

Paul reminds us arrogance is the antithesis of humility. What the world/culture has made a virtue, Paul reminds us is a vice.

There is nothing inherently evil about having financial resources; it’s only if we put our hope in them that we miss the point. Paul says we can only enjoy what God has entrusted to us, if we have it in proper perspective.

We should consider our financial resources as a stewardship responsibility – true riches consist in generosity toward others.

Finally, Paul said the only way to get our treasures into heaven is to invest them in that which is going to heaven. Coal, cattle, land, stocks, bonds and the like are not going to heaven. Men, women, boys and girls are going to heaven.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Hybrid Giving Idea

By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO

You may desire to provide a perpetual stream of contributions for the benefit of your church, a favorite Baptist cause and/or other Christian ministries, but you are unable at this time to fund fully the perpetual endowment fund to make that happen.

A flexible endowment fund, administered by the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, is an option worthy of your consideration. It allows you to have a plan that establishes a permanent endowment fund over a defined, but flexible time period. During this flexible funding period, you also make on-going contributions directly to the cause(s) you intend to benefit.

A simple example would be to establish a flexible endowment to provide scholarship assistance for students to attend one of our Kentucky Baptist Christian education institutions. To provide $1,000 of annual assistance the endowment fund would need to be $25,000 assuming a 4% annual distribution rate. The distribution rate is not the same as the investment earnings rate. The distribution rate takes into consideration the rate of inflation and the investment costs so the fund will have an inflation-adjusted growth to the principal over time.

Let’s assume you could establish the flexible endowment fund with a $10,000 gift, and you would agree to contribute the remaining $15,000 over the next five years. Alongside your $15,000 pledge to fund fully the endowment, you also pledge to contribute directly to the institution during the funding period the difference in the $1,000 scholarship assistance and the distributable earnings from the invested principal in the endowment fund. As you fund the principal of the endowment, the principal should grow in value to produce an increasing amount of distributable earnings, and therefore, your direct annual contribution to the institution should decrease. Once the endowment has been funded fully with the $25,000, you would have no more responsibility to make contributions related to this flexible endowment.

Scholarship assistance is just one of many ideas that lend themselves to this hybrid giving idea. Call Laurie Valentine or me toll-free for more information about how you can make a lasting difference with a flexible endowment fund.

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, October 14, 2014

Twelve Steps For Christian Estate Planning- Step #10

By: Laurie Valentine- COO & Trust Counsel

Step #10-Plan Now for Possible Future Incapacity-
Part 1 

Do you know who would be “in charge” if, as a result of a stroke, accident or illness you were no longer able to make decisions for yourself or manage your finances?

If you have not planned for that possibility, family may have no alternative but to go to court to have you determined to be mentally incapacitated so that a guardian/conservator can be appointed and empowered to make decisions about where you will live, the kind of medical care you will receive, and how your assets will be managed and used for your benefit.

There are significant financial and emotional costs to not planning for incapacity. All expenses and fees associated with setting up the guardianship, as well as the on-going costs of the annual reporting to the court and work of the guardian, will be paid out of your assets. And, the emotional toll on family who may have no choice but to take such actions will be heavy.

Next Month-Step #11 - Plan Now for Possible Future Incapacity-Part 2

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.