By: Laurie Valentine
Tithing is part of our Christian stewardship responsibilities. It is a discipline practiced by many all of their lives and it is vital to the continued viability of the programs and ministries of our churches.
When you die, will there be someone to “step into your shoes” to provide the funds your tithe has been providing to your church?
To assure your church will have the financial resources it needs, until the Lord returns, consider including in your estate plan a provision for the creation, at your death, of an endowment fund for the benefit of your church. Or, establish an endowment fund now to which you can make modest gifts at regular intervals during your life with provision in your estate plan for a final gift to the endowment at your death.
To create an endowment fund large enough to have sufficient earnings to fund your tithe in perpetuity requires a gift at your death (or a combination of gifts during life and at your death) equal to approximately 25 times your current annual tithe. This assumes an annual distribution rate of 4.0%.
For example, if the current amount you tithe each year is $2,000, the endowment would need to have $50,000 in it ($2,000 x 25) by the time you die. Assuming the endowment is invested to grow its value over time, the amount it will distribute to your church will also grow over time.
Assure your tithe will provide support until the Lord returns by endowing it.
Laurie Valentine is COO and Trust Counsel for the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, PO Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; (502) 489-3533 or 1-866-489-3533 (Toll-free, Kentucky Only); 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.