Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children

Neal Wooldridge

a word from Neal Wooldridge
Vice President for Planned Giving

Estate Planning Fundamentals

Wills, trusts, power of attorney – what do all these things mean? Estate planning information can be confusing. So, when Jack and Betty Box decided to create an estate plan to protect their family, they turned to Neal Wooldridge, OBHC’s Vice President of Planned Giving, for advice. Neal talked to them about their goals and explained some of the "tools" of estate planning they could use to accomplish their goals.

Jack and Betty BoxFirst, Neal assisted the Box’s with their Family Organizer, which organized all their assets in a very unique filing system. Once everything was organized, Neal recommended a basic estate planning document referred to as their Last Will and Testament. So the first step Jack and Betty took was to have separate wills drawn up stating how they want their property distributed when they die. They each named an executor or personal representative in their wills. The executor will be responsible for paying any final bills, overseeing finances while the estate is being settled, and filing a final income tax return. Now Jack and Betty feel comfortable that their wishes will be followed. As Jack said, "It is a big relief to have our wishes clear and finalized."

Second, Neal recommended Jack and Betty develop a Family Trust, which allows them to avoid probate in the future. It gives them the peace of mind to know that their estate will avoid court control, which will save time and money. This will allow them to give more to their son and their grandchildren. It will also allow them to give more to the Lord’s work like Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children.

Third, both Jack and Betty have strong feelings about what they would and would not want in the way of medical treatment if terminal illness, accident, or injuries prevent them from speaking for themselves. Like most of us, they’ve heard horror stories about what can happen when families or friends try to guess about treatment a loved one would want. To make sure their families and health-care providers know their wishes, Jack and Betty each had legal documents created – called advance directives – that will come into play if they’re unable to make their own decisions:

  • A living will, which spells out the conditions for receiving or not receiving life-sustaining treatment, and
  • A durable power of attorney for health care (sometimes called a health-care proxy) authorizing a trusted person to make medical decisions for them if they’re unable to make them themselves.

In addition, Jack and Betty each have a durable power of attorney for finances, naming someone else to act for them in financial matters if they are incapacitated.

Jack and Betty also desired to help Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children by utilizing some paid-up life insurance, which was transferred to OBHC and placed in a Gift Annuity with The Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma. The gift annuity gives them monthly income for both their lives. It also gives them a charitable deduction on their taxes while they are living, and in the future they will leave a nice gift to OBHC. Creating an estate plan can be complex, but with the help of professionals like Neal Wooldridge it can be accomplished for the future.

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