It makes sense to write a will or revocable living trust. Planning your estate allows your desires to be carried out when this life ends.
It is one of those things that must be done to have your “house in order”. (2 Kings 20:1) Planning is not just for the terminally ill or the elderly because life and health are unpredictable.
Consider a generous gift that will recognize the importance of Christian stewardship and provide funds for the Kingdom of God. Your will or trust can be a final statement and testimony of faith. A legacy of generosity truly recognizes “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights.” James 1:17
Two Estate Planning Options
Life insurance policies that are no longer needed sometimes make excellent charitable gifts. It is relatively simple and usually only requires signing a few forms your insurance agent can provide. By signing these forms you make Towne South Church of Christ the owner and/or beneficiary for the policy.
If Towne South is made owner, and if you continue to pay premiums for the policy, you may be able to deduct the amount of premiums paid each year. Further, if the policy is whole life, meaning it has cash value, your tax deduction may be the amount of this value on the date of the gift.
Naming the church as beneficiary for part or all of a life insurance policy is a relatively easy way to make a gift as part of your estate plan.
IRA or 401(k) Accounts
Qualified retirement plans, such as traditional IRA accounts or 401(k) plans, are “pre-tax” dollars and this means the individual who receives them upon your death may have to pay income taxes when the money is withdrawn. There are IRS rules about minimum required distributions. However, you have the option of naming Towne South Church of Christ or other qualified organizations as beneficiary of all or a portion of these accounts. Your estate will avoid paying income taxes (called “income in respect of decedent”), and possibly estate (death) taxes.
If this estate planning strategy fits in your overall goals for stewardship, it may be an excellent choice. Your tax advisor will be able to help you decide.