Master Stewardship Plan
LEVEL ONE – DEVELOPMENT
Our Master Stewardship Planning process helps our family clients reduce or eliminate capital gains and estate taxes and convert those dollars into significant charitable gifts. It also may reduce our families’ annual income tax bill, effectively utilizing combinations of both short-term and long-term planning strategies. We work hard to lower the annual income taxes of our families and guide them towards savings in estate and capital gains taxes.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.
Ensure that you can maintain your current lifestyle
The first priority in our planning with families is to ensure that the Master Stewardship Plan that we design for them allows them to maintain their current lifestyle. We do not play the role of the “lifestyle police” trying to dictate to families what their lifestyle consumption should be. Our number one objective is to make sure that a family’s new plan does not in any way hamper or limit their chosen lifestyle or make them feel financially “squeezed” in any way.
Pass on an appropriate inheritance to heirs who are prepared to receive it
The second priority in our planning with families to help them determine what is an appropriate inheritance for their heirs. This is clearly one of the most dangerous and difficult areas of planning and few parents have given this matter much careful thought at all. Our objective is to help parents evaluate their children, their strengths, their weaknesses, their needs, etc. and to help them craft an inheritance for them that can help fund life opportunities for them without accidentally passing on such a large inheritance to them that their inheritance ends up allowing them to choose an unproductive life, living off mom and dad’s inheritance.
Increase your giving to ministries that are important to you
Most of the families we serve have already accumulated more wealth than they or their heirs will ever need. And as such, our third priority is to help parents, after they have decided how much they need to maintain their chosen lifestyle and how much is an appropriate inheritance is for their children, to decide to whom they are going to give the rest of their accumulated wealth. This is the aspect of the Master Stewardship Plan that creates tremendous spiritual and emotional energy. For a family to realize that it now has a substantial amount to give away for worthy Kingdom causes that they did not know they had to give is both compelling and exciting for the entire family. It is this aspect of the planning process that gives life and energy to the Master Stewardship Plan.
Maximize your God-given talents, passion, and life-purpose
Helping parents and children discover how to integrate their God-given talents, passions, and purpose into a life pursuit, enables them to fully discover their fire within. And, to fully engage themselves in what God has created them to do – not just what man is paying them to do – is life-transforming. Once people discover that fire, they will find themselves fulfilled, energized, and more alive than at any time before.
LEVEL TWO – MAINTENANCE & OPERATION
Master Stewardship Plan Monitoring
Master Stewardship Plans are not static, but dynamic – meaning that they are not something that can be completed, put in a drawer and forgotten about. Each customized plan contains many moving parts and aspects that require regular and on-going management and maintenance. One of our most important services to our families it to make sure that their Master Stewardship Plans continue to stay current and on course. We know that things change in life, health, tax laws, family situations, the economy, etc. It is our role and responsibility to proactively manage the Master Stewardship Plan allowing our families to have the peace of mind of knowing that every detail of their plan is being meticulously monitored and maintained at all times.
Philanthropic Master Planning
It is one thing to create a plan that shows a family that they now have a substantial amount to give away to support Kingdom causes. It is an entirely different thing for that family to know how, to whom, when and for what to give those assets away so as to have the greatest possible impact for eternity. To assist our families in this exciting and rather daunting task of giving so much away, we created a Philanthropic Master Planning Workbook to help families think through the literally hundreds of issues and opportunities that present themselves with the family’s newly created giving capacity. We walk the family step by step through the entire philanthropic planning process to help them both fully realize the joy of giving as well as making sure that they are giving wisely, so as to please the Lord with where they choose to give.
Heir Training and Coaching Services
One of the realities of life is that if parents intend to leave their family any meaningful inheritance, it can be a very dangerous and harmful result if the heirs are not adequately prepared for how to wisely handle the inheritance they will receive. One of the critically important services we provide to our families is to assist them in how to prepare their heirs for their inheritance. We believe that the first step to successfully preparing heirs for their inheritance is to inform them about what the parents are planning to do for them regarding an inheritance. As such, we facilitate a number of family meetings to begin “pulling back the curtain” to reveal to the heirs what their parents are planning as well as some strong biblical teaching in the area of stewardship responsibilities that accompany possessing wealth. Our goal is to help make sure that the heirs inheritance ends up being a blessing and not a curse.
Family Business Continuation Services
There are two primary challenges that must be addressed in regards to keeping the family business in the family. (1.) The first challenge is the transfer tax laws that make passing on a multimillion dollar business difficult to achieve due to the excessive gift and estate tax rates that can cripple if not kill any family business. We specialize in showing families how to pass their family business on to the next generation potentially free of any gift and estate taxes. (2.) The second challenge is that of who in the next generation is going to take over the business. Just because a child is born into the family does not mean they have either the aptitude or the interest in running the family business. And only in very rare cases do all the children want to be involved in the family business. So, we help families assess the interest and aptitude of the next generation to see who would be the best candidate(s) to take over the business. We offer a number of assessments and executive coaching services that can help the parents, evaluate and train the next generation in how to successfully continue the family business for the next generation.
Family Meeting Services
During the Master Stewardship Planning process, we conduct multiple family meetings to bring the heirs up to speed on what is happening in the planning process and what that will mean to them in regards to their future inheritance. We have found that full disclosure to the heirs is the absolute best way to ensure a smooth and successful transfer of the family’s wealth to the next generation. Once the Master Stewardship Plan is initially implemented, we conduct no less than one annual family meeting to bring the family up to date on the progress of the plan, any changes that have taken place and any decisions that need to be made. These family meetings usually include decisions regarding distributions being made from their family foundation for the upcoming year.
Spiritual Discipleship and Mentoring Service
Since Jesus talks more about money in a spiritual context than he does a financial context it only makes sense that all our services should keep a sharp, spiritual focus on the family’s wealth as well as the decisions they make in what to do with it. We offer our families a number of Bible studies and resources that can be used to assist families in keeping a healthy, spiritual perspective on the accumulated wealth that God has entrusted to them.
Legal and Financial Services
Often our families do not have a current relationship with all the professional advisors or services that they need to implement and manage their master Stewardship Plan going forward. So, as a service to our families who need one of these services, we have developed strategic relationships with a number of legal and financial services providers to ensure that our families have access to the most knowledgeable and experienced professionals for these needed legal and financial services.
Family Office Gatherings
All families in our family office are invited to attend our annual Iron Sharpening Iron (ISI) Gathering. This 24 hour, overnight gathering provides our families a unique forum to talk openly and honestly with other wealthy Christian families who share many of the same opportunities and challenges such as limits on lifestyle consumption, effective heir preparation, efficient giving practices, etc. We also offer other valuable gathering events during the year such as our couples Marriage Weekend Getaway for all married members of our client families.