Published May 30, 2017
You may be hesitating to make a legacy gift to your church because you don’t want to incur the expense of changing your will. Actually, there are numerous ways to arrange a future gift while leaving your current will intact.
In each case, you need only request and complete the beneficiary form provided by the financial institution. When a church or ministry is named as beneficiary through one of these arrangements, the proceeds are not governed by your will and are not subject to probate.
However, like the provisions in a will, these beneficiary designations can be changed at any time. You need only complete a new beneficiary form. Adding or removing a charitable bequest requires a will change, though you could do this with a simple codicil (amendment) if the rest of the will still expresses your wishes.
A charitable gift by beneficiary designation, like a bequest in a will, qualifies for an estate-tax charitable deduction and could result in estate-tax savings, depending on the size of your estate.
Increasingly, estate assets are transferred to beneficiaries outside of a will. The Kentucky Baptist Foundation is honored to work with individuals seeking how best to designate estate assets they wish to gift to their church or other Baptist ministry causes. To learn more, you may contact the Foundation’s trust counsel, Laurie Valentine, or me 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
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