The earth is the LORD’s, and all it contains, The world, and all those who dwell in it.Psalm 24:1
What does it mean to “yield” to God in decisions that affect your bottom line? Are you a “manager” or an “owner?” This section of articles will help you discern how you live, spend, and invest your resources.
- A Tool for All Seasons One of the most powerful family stewardship planning tools is also one of the least understood and used even though it generates the greatest interest among affluent families––the family foundation. In the first of a two part series we will discuss the family foundation as it relates to two of the three most likely sources of information on the topic (an attorney or a ministry).
- Are You An Informed or An Uninformed Taxpayer? Christian families should become informed taxpayers—avoiding all capital gains and estate taxes and paying as little as they possibly can in annual income taxes, so they will have more for themselves, more for their heirs, and more for the Kingdom of God.
- Are Your Advisors Asking You the Right Questions? As believers, we need to know what the Bible says about financial matters. It is not enough, however, to just know what the Bible says about such topics; you must also know how to integrate what the Bible says into a comprehensive Master Stewardship Plan that is consistent with all these biblical principles. Are your advisors asking you the right questions—the important spiritual questions that are consistent with your biblical worldview?
- Combining Compression Planning with Charitable Planning One of the most effective and creative techniques in Family Wealth Counseling is combining what is called compression planning with charitable planning strategies. Each of these two techniques by themselves is quite effective, but when they are combined, the financial leverage created is hard to believe.
- Deferred Inheritance Trust: A Powerful Family Planning Tool The Deferred Inheritance Trust (IRS named a Charitable Lead Annuity Trust) may be one of the most underutilized Family Wealth Planning tools available.
- Deferred Inheritance with Instant Gratification Jesus tells us that we are to be as shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves. These two behaviors are not mutually exclusive. Shrewdness is not opposed to honesty, and honesty is not opposed to shrewdness. The best stewardship planning utilizes the epitome of shrewdness while honoring both the spirit and the letter of the laws of our land.
- Deflecting Wealth vs. Divesting Wealth It is far easier and cheaper to avoid taking ownership of wealth and the additional income it produces than it is to attempt to dispose of it once it shows up on your balance sheet and your 1040 income tax form. Like avoiding degenerative diseases, it takes strategic, advanced planning to deflect your wealth where you want it to go without it first coming to you.
- Does God Care How We Invest? As we probe the extent to which God’s ownership and our stewardship impact how we live, we cannot ignore one of the most common areas of American life—how we invest. We cannot explore this area of life stewardship without first being reminded of the two foundational truths of life stewardship: first, God owns everything; and second, it is our job to carefully and wisely manage everything He entrusts to us.
- Don’t Render Unto Caesar More Than You Have To When you employ common, often used, time-tested, creative planning techniques you can substantially reduce income taxes—all as a direct result of having developed a comprehensive and integrated Master Stewardship Plan.
- How Did You Do That? When I was in personal practice, my clients and their advisors would see the bottom-line results of my comprehensive Master Stewardship Plan designs and they would often look at me in disbelief and ask, “How did you do that?” When they look at the financial outcomes, it seems to indicate that $2 + $2 = $11. But it was not “smoke and mirrors” and it was not “magic.” What they were seeing is the effect of the careful and strategic integration of three powerful planning concepts – all combined into one carefully integrated Master Stewardship Plan.
- Keeping the Family Business in the Family How one family’s Master Stewardship Plan enabled them to accomplish all their personal and family goals and objectives but also create a major endowment to support seven Christian ministries into perpetuity.
- Making a Profit, Giving It Away Can you truly “make a profit and give it away”? This question seems to be such an absolute contradiction of terms. Yet, this giving reality is not new. Jesus said, “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
- Palmer Case Study: Business Succession at Its Best A case study that demonstrates the power of comprehensive and integrated creative planning. It truly is an excellent example of business succession planning at its best!
- The Banks Family: Multi-generational Planning At Its Best The Banks were all followers of Jesus with a strong personal interest and involvement in supporting many different ministry efforts. They liked the idea of using some portion of this unneeded wealth to support the Kingdom causes their families cared about. Here was the dilemma. If Mildred gave these assets to the grandchildren, very little would actually get to them and nothing would go to support Kingdom causes.
- The Dynamic Duo: Deferred Inheritance Trust & Enhanced Income Trust These two powerful trusts are mirror opposites of one another. Properly designed, the Deferred Inheritance Trust pays its income to charity or a family foundation for a term of years or life, then terminates. The trust assets then pass to the heirs, gift/estate tax free. The Enhanced Income Trust, pays its annual income to the family. Upon termination, the trust assets pass to your charity/family foundation.
- The IRS Funded Kingdom Buy-Sell How would you like to have the IRS fund your buy-sell agreement and make major gifts to the Christian ministries you care about all at the same time—without taking a penny out of your current cash flow?
- The Three Aspects of Every Family’s Wealth The vast majority of wealthy families do not fully understand the different aspects of their wealth. Sadly, as a result, many go to their graves leaving their assets to suffer devastating taxes and reap only a small portion of the benefits that could have been provided to them, their heirs, and the Kingdom of God with strategic stewardship planning.
- Tour Guide or Travel Agent When planning for your family’s wealth, do you want to use people who can tell you how to get there but leave you on your own to figure out what to do? Or, would you rather use someone who can carefully walk you through the entire wealth stewardship planning thought process?
- Understanding the Difference Between Ownership and Control The idea of distinguishing between ownership and control is a new concept for many wealthy families. From a biblical stewardship perspective, we should at least mentally acknowledge that we own nothing—we are mere caretakers of our Heavenly Father’s property. But the fact is, the deed to our house, our stock certificates, and the titles on our vehicles still have our name on it.