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.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Christ-Centered Will

By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO


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 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, July 31, 2014

Plan Your Use of Joint Tenancy

By: Laurie Valentine-COO & Trust Counsel 

Many people put everything they own in joint ownership with others so that, at death, no probate court proceedings are required for the other joint owner to have full ownership and control of the assets. “Joint tenancy with rights of survivorship” titling does avoid probate as ownership passes by operation of law to the surviving joint owner, but it should be used carefully.

Your Will does not control who will own jointly-owned assets following your death. That means that even with a carefully thought out “written plan” (a Will) directing how you want what you own at death to pass, any assets in joint names will not be governed by that plan.

Another reason people put someone else’s name on their assets as joint owner is to give them access to those assets in case of incapacity of the original owner. A better plan may be to give them a power of attorney which gives them access to your assets and the ability to use them for your benefit if you become incapacitated without making them a joint owner

Putting others’ names on your assets as joint owner makes them just that…an owner with rights in those assets. That could result in those assets being subject to the claims of that other joint owner’s creditors, if he or she gets into some kind of legal or financial difficulty.

And, if the other joint owner dies first you might be taxed on receiving your own assets back from the other joint owner at their death, depending on their relationship to you.

As with all other aspects of estate stewardship, use of joint tenancy should be planned.

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, July 29, 2014

A Personal Testimony

By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO

In 1985, 11 years before my service as KBF president began, my wife and I established the Barry G. and Larie G. Endowment Fund with the KBF.

We established the account with a modest gift of appreciated stock and directed the KBF to reinvest the earnings until the market value of the account attained a specific target balance. Upon the attainment of the target balance, the earnings would begin to be distributed, until the Lord returns, among several Baptist causes which were near and dear to our hearts.

In addition to the initial gift, my wife and I have continued to make contributions to the fund over the years. Our gifts have been in the form of cash, appreciated stock and life insurance policies. And, we have a provision in our estate plan to contribute to it as well.

As a result of our continued contributions and the KBF’s excellent investment performance, the fund attained its target balance in 1997, and the KBF began making distributions at that time. The distributions continue to grow as the fund grows.

I am sharing this word of stewardship testimony for these reasons:

· Integrity. I would not ask you to do what I had not done already.

· Trust. We believe the KBF board and staff are steadfast and solid and will do until the Lord returns what we directed them to do, and they will do it with excellence.

· Simplicity. Most of you, like us, have more than one favorite Christian cause. The KBF can simplify the giving process by establishing one account but distributing the earnings to multiple causes.

· Joy. I wanted to share with you the joy we are experiencing (a) by seeing while we are alive how these Great Commission ministries are changing peoples’ lives in the name of Jesus Christ and (b) by having the assurance we shall be involved in these ministries as they continue to impact the world for Christ beyond our lifetimes.

Please give Laurie Valentine, our trust counsel, or me the privilege of assisting you in experiencing the joy that comes by giving to connect all people to Jesus Christ, “for God loves a cheerful giver.” Call us toll free.

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.