A Place to Start

Kentucky Baptist Foundation
Kentucky Baptist Foundation Funding the Great Commission

By: Richard Carnes

Individuals who seek guidance from the Kentucky Baptist Foundation often ask for suggestions on how best to start their estate planning process. We suggest using the following four steps as a framework for organizing your thoughts as you begin.


The people in your life are central to the planning process. List the individuals for whom you are now financially responsible and those whom you would like to assist in the future. It is also appropriate to include your church and other Christian ministry causes on the list as part of your “family.”

Next, we suggest listing your property. Think of everything you own, including financial assets and tangible property. Begin with income from all sources (salary, investments, rental property, etc.) Also include any current balances in pension plans, individual retirement accounts (IRA’s), 401K plans and other retirement accounts. Beside each asset, list its current value and the asset’s original cost. Finally, note whether you own the asset outright, or with others.

Your plans begin to take shape as you review the list of persons and consider how you wish to provide for them. Study the various assets you listed to determine which may match the needs of each person or charitable cause you identified as important to you.

Various professionals play a key part in establishing and advising your estate plan. At the top of the list of planners will often be an attorney and an accountant. Your attorney drafts your will and other legal documents. Your accountant can provide valuable advice on tax matters as well as other estate planning issues, in consultation with your attorney. Others who may participate include life insurance professionals, financial planners, real estate professionals and trust officers.

The staff of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation would be honored to be a part of your planner team. We welcome the opportunity to work with individuals seeking how best to organize their estate planning goals to achieve their personal and charitable objectives. To request a private estate stewardship consultation, please 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

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.

Kentucky Baptist Foundation

Kentucky Baptist Foundation

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