Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Starting the New Year

By: Richard Carnes

Most of us look at the start of a new year as a time for setting fresh goals in many areas of life. These goals typically revolve around common themes such as better health habits (I want to lose 15 pounds), improving personal relationships (I’ll be more attentive to my spouse) or better life balance (I’ll no longer take work projects home each evening). This is also a time when many of us will review and update our financial plans to make sure the plan will provide adequate financial security for our family.

As we consider strategies for accomplishing our personal and charitable financial goals for 2018 and beyond, we should schedule time to do the following:
  • Identify your sources of income and expenses
  • Determine the value of your assets and the income (if any) they produce.
  • Review the needs of family members and others, including your church, and consider any changes that may be needed in your plans. 
  • Define your goals for the management and future distribution of financial assets.
  • Make a detailed list of your assets, such as home (including furnishings) and other real estate, vehicles and other personal property, financial accounts, retirement plans and other investments, including their original cost and current market value. 
It is also beneficial to meet with your professional advisors to review and establish your personal and charitable financial goals. Your financial advisor, life insurance representative, accountant, attorney or other specialist can help you evaluate your specific circumstances and guide you in structuring an estate and financial plan that best achieves your goals.

Regular reviews of your long-range estate and financial plans are the best way to make certain your desires for the management and disposition of your property are up to date and meet your current needs.

The Kentucky Baptist Foundation is honored to work with individuals seeking how best to organize their estate planning goals to achieve their personal and charitable objectives to support their church and other Baptist causes. To learn more, you may contact the Foundation staff 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, January 9, 2018

Do I Really Need A Will?

By: Richard Carnes

Is it truly necessary for us to have wills? This is a common question we receive at the Foundation.

The answer is: Yes, you need a will!

Yes, there are multiple ways to pass property to a surviving spouse, such as joint tenancy with right of survivorship, and beneficiary designations. Nevertheless, everyone should have a will for the following six reasons:


  1. There likely are items of personal property—jewelry, collections, household items, etc.—that you and your spouse own individually and that are not governed by joint tenancy or beneficiary designation. 
  2. Even supposing that everything passes to your surviving spouse by right of survivorship or beneficiary designation, the surviving spouse would need a will to direct the disposition of assets upon his or her death. 
  3. If you and your spouse should die in a common disaster without wills, your property would be distributed per the intestacy laws of the state in which you reside—and these laws might not conform to your wishes. Also, the person selected by the court to administer your estate might not be the person you would have chosen. 
  4. If you have minor children and are not survived by a spouse, you can designate a guardian for your children in a will. 
  5. In a will you can provide for the particular needs of your children and other loved ones. For example, you might establish trusts for children or grandchildren when a stream of income is more advisable than a lump-sum gift. 
  6. In a will you can leave some portion of your estate to your local church and other Christian ministries. You can also do this by naming a charity as beneficiary of an insurance policy, a retirement fund, or a bank or investment account. But when you have a will, you can choose which gifts to make in your will and which to make by beneficiary designation. 
Call upon the Kentucky Baptist Foundation as a helpful partner in these vital planning decisions. You may contact us at our toll-free number (866) 489-3533.

Richard Carnes is the president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation.

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.



Friday, December 15, 2017

Giving with Appreciation

By: Richard Carnes

Many individuals are reviewing their charitable contributions at the year end and considering how they could provide additional gifts to their church and ministry causes. Perhaps you would like to make gifts above what you give out of income as tithes and offerings to provide on-going support to additional Baptist causes.

One such way to achieve this giving is to use assets that have appreciated in value for making “above and beyond” gifts to support the Christian ministries that are important to you. If you have investment securities you have owned for more than a year that are worth more than the security cost, consider using this asset to make gifts.

Your deduction will actually be based on the full value of the security. In addition, you will not owe capital gains tax that would normally be due on a sale of the security.

Using an appreciated asset to make a gift to your church or other Baptist cause can result in a lower after-tax cost to make your gift than if you use the same amount of cash to make the donation. Savings from the charitable deduction and the bypass of capital gains can be considerable. How much you save depends on your actual income and capital gains tax rates.

The process of making gifts of appreciated securities need not be complicated. If your financial advisor holds the securities for your account, instruct that the security be electronically transferred to the financial account of the designated charity. This is often the most convenient way of making your gift.

When giving securities, including mutual funds, bonds, notes or mortgages, specific advice and instructions should be obtained from your financial advisor. Additional time should be allowed for completion of such gift transactions.

The Kentucky Baptist Foundation staff is honored to work with individuals seeking how best to make gifts of appreciated assets to their church and other Baptist causes. To learn more, you may contact the Foundation staff at our toll-free number (866) 489-3533.

Richard Carnes is president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation

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 14, 2017

Legacy Giving Ministry

By: Richard Carnes

We often discuss with church leadership that the local church is the most overlooked charity in estate stewardship and legacy giving. It is not that church members are opposed to supporting the ministries and mission efforts of their church in this fashion. Rather, it is primarily due to the fact that most church members are never encouraged by their church leadership to consider giving a part of their estate to their church.

In most churches, the stewardship focus has been on tithes and offering giving that comes from members’ income and “liquid assets”, which may represent only a small portion of a member’s net worth. Certainly, it is good for the church to instill this discipline of current giving, but the discipline of financial stewardship should also include an attitude of legacy giving.

What is a legacy gift?

· It is a gift over and above tithes and offerings. It is a gift out of assets not out of income.

· It is a gift that can’t be put in the offering plate.

· It is a gift made in light of the giver’s overall estate and financial plans.

· It is a gift that uses tax-advantaged methods to accomplish the giver’s objectives.

· It is a gift that may require professional adviser assistance to complete the contribution.

Developing a coordinated legacy giving effort is how the church can equip its members to be Kingdom-minded with their resources. The legacy gifts that transpire from the churches’ stewardship education efforts will most certainly provide additional “above and beyond” financial resources that will permit the church to enhance and expand its programs and ministries.

As church leadership prays about its obligation to educate church members about the stewardship of legacy giving, the leadership should determine how legacy gifts will be used to further the church’s mission and what Kingdom impact will result from receiving legacy gifts.

How does a church get started in developing its personalized legacy giving ministry? An excellent first step is to contact the Kentucky Baptist Foundation. We welcome the opportunity to explain our legacy gift program development assistance. You may contact us at our toll-free number (866) 489-3533.

Richard Carnes is the president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, P O 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, November 8, 2017

A Christian’s Estate Plan

By: Richard Carnes

As with most things, the world’s way of approaching estate planning is profoundly different from God’s way. Estate planning affects literally everything we consider ours. Because of that, it is the single most important act of stewardship we will ever undertake.

Sometimes an event causes a person to confront their mortality, and they engage in introspection about their relationships and values. Possibly the person is stimulated to complete an estate plan they have long postponed and finally take the steps to ensure that their wishes are fulfilled. Maybe they start thinking about the ways they can use lifetime accumulations to make a difference for God’s Kingdom in the lives of the next generation.

As believers we understand that God is the owner of everything; in estate planning we are merely arranging to transfer stewardship responsibility, hopefully in a way that would please the One who has created and who owns all things. God said in Psalm 50:10-12, “… for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine.”

In preparing our estate we are faced with a number of fundamental considerations that go to the heart of creating an estate plan that reflects God’s priorities. How shall I provide for my family members? What kind of eternal impact do I want to make through ministries that have been important to me and my loved ones over the course of our lives?

A complete estate plan is an affirmation of the meaning of your life – what you ultimately value, your affections, and the ways in which you want your life to have made a difference for God’s Kingdom.

Because the tools and techniques available to the believer are equally available to the non-Christian, there can inherently be nothing about the tools themselves that make an estate plan “Christian”. Rather, it’s the design of the estate plan. It is the prayer and careful thought put into it that will determine how well it reflects Biblical priorities.

Call upon the Kentucky Baptist Foundation as a helpful partner in these vital planning decisions.

Richard Carnes is the president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, P O 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, October 3, 2017

Estate Documents You Need

By: Richard Carnes

If you have an up-to-date will, congratulations, you are in rare company! Shockingly, almost 60% of Americans have no will at all. And, for the 40% of Americans that do have a will, only about 30% of this group have one that is up-to-date. This statistic translates into only 12% of Americans having an up-to-date will.

Your will is only one of the estate planning documents you need. The attorney who drafted your will may have prepared other necessary documents and explained them to you. Some of these documents also provide the opportunity to designate a charitable beneficiary. To be sure you have covered all the essentials, please review the following list of what you may need:

- Durable power of attorney, which authorizes someone to act on your behalf regarding financial matters if you are unable to do so.

- Directive to physicians (also called a “living will”), in case you are ever in a physical state where you cannot speak for yourself.

- List of recipients of tangible property. This list referenced in your will includes the people who are to receive specific items other than real estate and investments. Many types of tangible property can be donated to a charity as well.

- Revocable living trust. You may want to create a revocable living trust, especially if you own out-of-state real estate and/or want to provide for management of your assets.

- Beneficiary designations. Be sure to review the beneficiary designations of your retirement accounts, life insurance, bank accounts and investment accounts to make sure they reflect your current wishes and are coordinated with your will. A person may make a gift to their church, mission or special ministry by listing the charity within your beneficiary designations.

- List of assets, documents and records and where to find them. Include where to find passwords to digitally stored documents, which is an increasingly important part of an estate.

To make intentional plans to care for your family and the ministries God is inspiring you to support, call upon the Kentucky Baptist Foundation as a helpful partner. You may contact us at our toll-free number (866) 489-3533.

Richard Carnes is the president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, P O Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; 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, September 19, 2017

Giving Through Kentucky Baptist Foundation

By: Laurie Valentine

For the past 23 years I have had the privilege, as Trust Counsel of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, to encourage and educate Kentucky Baptists about how they can make a lasting difference for the cause of Christ in this world by using the Kentucky Baptist Foundation to accomplish their charitable giving objectives.

The Kentucky Baptist Foundation is the trust agency of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. It can receive gifts during your lifetime or at death for the support of all Kentucky Baptist and Southern Baptist causes. The Foundation, as a “member of the family”, has a special appreciation for the mission and ministry of the causes that will be supported through your gifts. This connection assures you, as the giver, the Foundation has each cause’s best interests in mind as it manages the gifts made for that cause’s benefit.

Many givers want to benefit more than one cause and realize that dividing their gift may result in lower total support. A single fund can be set up with the Kentucky Baptist Foundation to provide support to more than one Baptist cause. This can result in more consistent levels of support for all----each cause will have the benefit of the same level of competent investment management oversight services and the economies of centralized fund management.

Making the Kentucky Baptist Foundation the manager of your gift assures the causes you want to support are left to do what they were called to do---missions, Christian education, child care, evangelism, disaster relief, etc.

I encourage you to learn how you can practice your financial stewardship at a deeper level through the Kentucky Baptist Foundation.

For more information, contact the Kentucky Baptist Foundation at 502-489-3533 or 1-866-489-3533 (Toll-free, Kentucky only)

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.