(Published On-Line January 28, 2014)
It’s that time of year again when new goals are set and things seem to “start over”. While you are setting goals for yourself, consider setting one that will benefit you and your family – getting your estate planning in order.
Planning starts with having an updated will. January is typically “Make Your Will” month, but anytime is a good time to start. Having a will allows you to choose who gets all the things you leave behind.
For example, if you die without a will in South Carolina, only one-half of your individual assets will go to your spouse and the other half will go to your children, no matter how old they are. Proper estate planning has many other advantages. It promotes family unity. When plans are in place, everyone knows that you directed ahead of time where all of your assets are going. A lot of family discord can be tied back to someone passing away without making the proper plans.
Planning also allows you to “give your estate away twice.” This is a method that allows you to leave your assets to both your family and your church, association, or other charity. Making charitable giving a part of your estate plan allows those left behind to celebrate the legacy you left for the Kingdom of God. Will your church be able to enhance its ministry because of an estate gift you make? Will students be able to have scholarships? The list could go on.
Proper planning and charitable giving can help to make your home-going a celebration rather than a storm brewing. Once we leave this earth, only memories of you will be left. How do you want to be remembered? How can you make a lasting impression, one that will glorify our Lord and Savior and tell the world that you love Him? If you already have a will, review it and make sure it still says what you want it to say. If you don’t have one, contact your attorney and begin the process. The Baptist Foundation of SC can also assist you with estate planning and will preparation. The Foundation has a program that is simple, comprehensive, and very meaningful. The planning part is offered at no cost to Baptists, and your will and other document preparation is offered at a fraction of the cost it would be outside this program.
When you plan properly, those left behind will thank you for it, and when you leave a legacy of charitable giving, the Kingdom of God will be enhanced. Only when we get to heaven will we know the impact we had on this earth.
Valerie E. Rumbough, CPA, CFP is Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer of the Baptist Foundation of SC. For more information call 803-227-6198.
— Per IRS Circular 230, Federal tax advice contained in this communication is not intended, nor can be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the IRC or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending any transaction or matter addressed herein.