An effective estate plan can provide future economic security for you, your family and ministries you wish to benefit. By taking the time to plan, you may discover opportunities that can benefit yourself and your loved ones while also enhancing current and future financial security.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning involves making provisions for the present and future management of the assets you have accumulated and deciding how you want your estate distributed when you no longer need it.
What if I do not make an estate plan?
The state where you live provides for a standard "plan." Your state's plan cannot:
• Provide for your heirs according to their needs.
• Take into account who you would have wanted to settle your affairs or to be the legal guardian of your minor children.
• Provide for special friends or charitable interests.
How do I begin to create an estate plan?
A good place to start is with the "4 P's."
• List the people you would like to provide for in your plans. You may wish to include charitable interests.
• List the property you own and any income it produces. Include investments, real estate, retirement plan funds and life insurance assets, as well as personal property.
• Your plans will begin to take shape as you consider how you wish to provide for the people on your list. Study your property list carefully looking for opportunities to respond to needs of family and ministry.
• List the professionals you will need to help you - your attorney, accountant, estate or financial planner, bank trusty officer, etc. The CBF Foundation can help coordinate the process.
Is a will the only document needed to complete my estate plan?
Not necessarily. There are other ways to distribute property.
Why might I need a plan other than a will?
A trust can distribute assets and manage them for elderly persons, younger heirs and those with special needs.
Joint ownership arrangements allow you and others to own property together. Upon death of one owner the property passes outside of probate to the surviving owner.
A power of attorney lets you appoint someone to handle your financial affairs if you should be unable to do so. Many people also create a living will, which outlines their health care wishes.
Also review the beneficiary designations of life insurance policies, IRA's and other retirement plans. Your will and other plans may not affect their distribution.
How can I make charitable gifts in my estate plan?
You can make gifts from funds that remain after you have first assured your family's financial security. You can accomplish this through bequest in your will, a trust gift, naming a ministry to receive life insurance or retirement plan proceeds, or other charitable designations.
Is there a way I can receive tax savings and other benefits from charitable gifts now?
Yes! With income gift plans, you can receive payments for life and another specified period while making a charitable gift of assets that remain when you no longer require the payments. Income tax deductions are allowed for such gifts when completed during your lifetime.
If you fund income gifts with securities or other assets that have increased in value over the years, you could reduce and/or delay capital gains tax on the assets. It may also be possible to receive payments that are free of tax or taxed at lower rates than other income. You thus enjoy the satisfaction of making a thoughtful charitable gift as well as the benefit of attractive fixed or varied payments and immediate tax savings.