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.