In June 2009, First Church established the Legacy Society to recognize and thank those who have provided for the church in their estate plan. Those who notified the church by June 2010 were designated charter members of the Legacy Society.
To learn more about the Legacy Society and how you could include the church in your planned giving, please contact Wayne Ford, Director of Accounting for more information.
Planned Giving Program
Why do we encourage planned giving?
First Church encourages planned giving as an act of Christian generosity. It is a way for you to benefit future generations with the riches God has entrusted to you. Bartlesville First Church wants to enable its members and friends to ensure the long term ability of God’s church to be engaged in ministry. Planned gifts can provide a personal legacy that has enduring benefits and are a way you can benefit your interests beyond your personal lifetime.
What is a planned gift?
A planned gift is usually contributed from a person’s assets – the things he or she owns – rather than income. Planned gifts may be in the form of a bequest, an annuity, a charitable trust or some other arrangement. Usually, planned gifts are received upon the death of the donor. Professional advice is usually required to establish a planned gift and to ensure that the gift’s intended benefit is achieved.
What are the types of planned gifts?
As is the case with other gifts, planned gifts may be restricted to a particular use or they may be unrestricted:
Unrestricted: An unrestricted gift is unconditional. The donor does not specify how a gift will be used, but leaves such decisions to the governing body of the organization
Restricted: A donor specifies the use of a gift for a particular purpose.
How will my planned gift be used?
First Church has established a variety of endowment funds to benefit particular ministries of the church or the church in general. The easiest way to designate the use of your gift is to specify one of these endowment funds as the beneficiary. Wayne Ford can provide a list of the endowment funds that have been established or can help you consider another appropriate use of your gift.
6 Basic Steps for Estate Planning
Step 1 – Take Nike’s Advice – Just Do It.
Take a deep breath and relax. Estate planning is your opportunity to review what you have (your assets) and decide how you can use what you have to benefit the people and “causes” you love. Hopefully, Bartlesville First Church is one of those causes.
Step 2 – Whom and What Do You Love?
In this step, you identify those people and causes you love. Consider how you want to use what you own to benefit them. These are the goals you want to accomplish in your estate planning. You may wish to discuss your goals with your loved ones and with the institutions or causes you wish to benefit with your estate. The information you glean from such discussions may help you and your estate planning adviser ensure your wishes are met.
Step 3 – Make a List and Check It Twice.
Your estate plan will only be as complete as the information you provide to your adviser. Take stock of what you have, particularly your financial assets like checking and saving accounts, stocks, bonds and any other financial assets you own. Don’t forget about your home, your cars and any other real estate you may own. Be sure to list any special personal items you have if you wish to designate their disposition.
Step 4 – Get Professional Help.
Estate planning is technical. You may start with a financial planner or an accountant, but you will need an attorney as well since estate planning documents like wills and trusts are legal documents. Your adviser can help you in the preparation of the legal documents and can tell you what you should do about the names on real property and vehicle titles and the beneficiaries on life insurance policies and IRA’s. Your adviser will help you decide when it is appropriate to designate amounts and when it is better to designate percentages.
Step 5 – Life Happens.
Things change. Life situations are one of those. People are born and people die. Institutions and causes change as well. And, governments are constantly changing how the law affects what we do. Because these things change, your estate plan may need to change as well. So, get in the habit of thinking about your estate plan whenever something important changes in your life. And, in addition, it’s a good idea to set a specific time each year when you think about whether your estate plan needs to change. You may wish to do it at each year-end. Or, you may wish to do it whenever you file your income taxes.
Step 6 – Communicate.
Tell your beneficiaries you have included them in your estate plan.