Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Family Decisions

By: Richard Carnes

When composing or updating wills and estate documents, a couple will naturally discuss how to divide their estate. Many questions arise during these discussions. Do you leave equal amounts to your children? Will each child be a wise steward of the inheritance or have they proven irresponsible with money? Should differing amounts spent for each child’s education impact the division? Do you include any provisions for legacy gifts to the charities with which you are connected?

These are difficult questions, and parents often delay creating or updating a will to avoid answering them. As we wrestle with these questions, keep the following in mind:

· During their lifetimes, parents often give unequal amounts to children based on different needs – but they hesitate to leave unequal bequests, for they don’t want their last words to seem to convey unequal affection.

· If you do plan to leave unequal bequests to your children, talk to them while you are living: explain what you are doing and why.

· You can treat children and family members fairly without providing for them in the same way. For example, a prudent way to provide for a family member who is irresponsible or unsophisticated with money is through a trust from which the family member will receive regular income but have limited access to principal of the trust.

· Your Christian values can be a part of your estate legacy. By including your church and other Christian ministries in your estate plan, you set an example to your family and community of your commitment as a Christ follower.

The Kentucky Baptist Foundation is honored to work with individuals seeking how best to organize their estate planning priorities. Our staff works to help clients achieve their personal and charitable goals, including how to provide for their families and support their church and other Baptist causes. We cannot relieve you of the hard choices you have to make when dividing your estate among children and other family members, but we can assist you with ways to make estate gifts to fulfill your family and charitable objectives. 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, 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, January 8, 2019

Do I 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:


  • To be a good steward – a good estate plan reduces death taxes and probate expenses, leaving more for you to pass to your family and charitable causes at your death.
  •  To avoid the “Will” the state has written for you – Kentucky’s “Intestate Succession Statute” – the state’s plan of asset distribution may not meet your family’s needs or accomplish your estate planning objectives. 
  • To retain input - Making a Will allows you to determine who will get your assets and how the recipients will receive those assets at your death.
  • Making a Will allows you to designate whom you want to be appointed as guardian for your children if both parents die before your children reach age 18.
  • Making a Will assures smooth administration (probate) of your estate at your death.
  • Making a Will allows you to name an executor who will handle the tasks of determining what you own at death, paying your final debts and expenses, managing the assets in your estate, preparing all required tax returns and distributing your assets as your Will directs. 

The Kentucky Baptist Foundation’s “Common Mistakes Everyone Makes In Estate Planning”seminar can provide more answers about why you need a Will. Contact Richard Carnes at richard.carnes@kybaptist.orgto schedule this one-hour, free seminar at your church.

Also, if you have questions about Christian estate planning strategies or want to request a private estate stewardship consultation, please contact the Kentucky Baptist Foundation’s trust counsel, Austin Wilkerson at austin.wilkerson@kybaptist.orgor call the Foundation’s toll-free number (866) 489-3533.

Richard Carnes is 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, December 11, 2018

Planning for a New Year

By Richard Carnes:

Most of us are currently immersed in Christmas events at our churches, holiday baking, Christmas shopping and an otherwise completely full calendar through the end of the year. It’s hard for us to think of anything else, but the start of a new year is an important time for setting fresh goals in many areas of life. This can be an excellent time to review and update our financial plans to make sure the plan will provide adequate financial security for our family and bless the Christian causes important to us.

As we consider strategies for accomplishing our personal and charitable financial goals for 2019 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, October 30, 2018

Appreciation Gifts

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 Foundation staff at our toll-free number (866) 489-3533.

Richard Carnes is 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, October 2, 2018

Giving Wisely

By: Richard Carnes

Kentucky Baptist, Southern Baptist and other Christian causes rely on charitable gifts to meet their current needs and support their future. Gifts to those causes made through the Kentucky Baptist Foundation will be managed using the highest business and Christian ethical standards and methods.

Your gift can take multiple forms and can help you address your personal financial goals. Do you want to make a significant gift during your lifetime, or would a gift as part of your estate work better? Do you have an asset that you are thinking of donating? Do you want to increase your retirement income, or is your primary goal estate preservation? Are you carrying excess life insurance or a large balance in your retirement plan?

Did you know there are ways to support charitable causes important to you that don't affect your current lifestyle or your family's financial security?

· You can make a gift that costs you nothing during your lifetime.

· You can make a gift that leaves your cash flow and current financial planning unchanged.

· You don't have to use cash to make your gift: you can "buy low and give high" by making your gift with appreciated securities instead.

· You can gift an asset you no longer need or want.

We will be pleased to work with you and your advisors to help you craft the gift plan that works best for your goals and dreams. A great place to start as you consider your gift planning is the Kentucky Baptist Foundation’s website www.kybaptistfoundation.org. Many Kentucky Baptists have utilized this site as a source for educational articles on estate and gift planning, charitable gift topics and planning tools.

A great first step when you access the website is to explore our Legacy Planner decision-making tool that helps a person explore gift planning options based on their goals. The Legacy Planner is interactive and fun to use. I encourage you to try it!

The Kentucky Baptist Foundation is here as a helpful partner. If you have questions, please contact the Kentucky Baptist Foundation office 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.





Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Helping Students

By: Richard Carnes

Late summer is always an exciting time for our children and young adults beginning to report back to schools and colleges across the state. The freshness of a new school year is full of potential and new learning experiences. But, for some students, the hope of achieving their academic dreams may be deferred due to a lack of enough financial resources.

The Kentucky Baptist Foundation is honored to work with numerous donors whose passion is helping students receive the necessary financial support to achieve their educational goals. One example of this collaboration is the scholarship funds that donors have created to help off-set the costs of students’ education. For the upcoming academic year, the Kentucky Baptist Foundation had the privilege of awarding 57 scholarships to college and seminary students totaling $74,850 from the 17 scholarship endowments administered by the Foundation. The Foundation is also honored to assist several Kentucky Baptist churches by providing investment oversight and administration of the scholarship funds churches have established for their students.

You may share this same commitment to helping students achieve their educational goals 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.

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 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. If you have questions, please contact the Kentucky Baptist Foundation office 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.


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Educate and Encourage

By:Richard Carnes

The Kentucky Baptist Foundation (KBF) helps educate a church’s staff and lay leadership on effective ways to implement intentional legacy planning programs for church members. It is imperative that churches educate and encourage their members to see their financial stewardship more broadly than just the donation they place into the offering plate. This stewardship training extends to planning the utilization of all the financial resources entrusted to church members for the benefit of their family, their church, and Kingdom causes.

Church leaders can make great strides in impacting the financial well-being of church member’s families and the well-being of the church’s ministries by scheduling teaching opportunities for their church members on how to become “Kingdom-minded” stewards. The great news for church leaders is they are not alone in providing this type of Christian estate stewardship training for their members. The KBF helps facilitate this training of church members to become more “Kingdom-minded” by conducting educational seminars on financial and estate planning topics at your church. This educational resource is provided by the KBF at no cost to Kentucky Baptist churches.

Some examples of frequently requested seminars are:

Estate Planning Mistakes and Solutions- Discover what the ten biggest estate planning mistakes are and how to avoid them to assure you manage your finances wisely.

Who Will Be In Charge If …? – Explores incapacity planning tools – powers of attorney, health care advanced directives, Living Trusts and what happens if no prior planning has been done.

Ways To Make Gifts To Your Church– Estate stewardship giving ideas to encourage church members to take stewardship to a deeper level – what to give, how to give, and why we as Christians should give.

As your church begins to plan its Fall series of education and training for Wednesday evenings, Sunday evenings or the Sunday morning Sunday School hour, please consider inviting KBF staff to conduct a seminar session at your church. To learn more, please contact the KBF’s trust counsel, Austin Wilkerson, or me at our toll-free number (866) 489-3533 for the KBF’s full list of legacy planning seminar topics and to schedule a seminar date.

Richard Carnes is 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.