Endowment Planning Requires Careful Attention to Principle and Interest Amounts

The current pastor communicated the latest explanation of the endowment fund bylaw that were discussed at the latest church council meeting. Two years ago when a retired pastor died from complications of dementia, the congregation and the pastor’s family members donated a significant amount of money in his name.

The financial adviser that the council is working with went to great lengths to explain the best practice in endowment management and explains that he considers a 4% annual draw to be a safe amount to withdraw from an endowment to protect the principal.

This is because history shows over time that a well-managed investment portfolio with an appropriate balance of stocks and fixed assets will earn on average well above 4%, so that even if the market drops in a given year, the principal still will be protected over the longer term if no more than 4% is withdrawn annually. He also pointed to a history of He is also noted the earnings history of the church’s governing body has a combined investment fund that has been very favorable, so that a 4% draw would be appropriate.

Having a set withdrawal rate annually is a better approach to endowment management than trying to figure out a withdrawal rate on a yearly basis. The danger in determining a new annual rate every year is that in good years the committee could feel comfortable withdrawing a greater amount, which could endanger the principal over time when market performance is down. If there would be a protracted economic downturn, the 4% withdrawal rate could always be revisited. The governing group will also be regularly monitoring the performance of the overseeing church’s investment account to make sure funds are growing at an appropriate rate.

The last step, of course, is to have an attorney look over the plans for the funds, but this will be a formality.

Family Lawyers and Municipal Attorneys Offer a Wide Range of Services

Whether you need a municipal attorney to help you understand specific regulations for a particular county, city, town, or township, or you need a family lawyer to handle a divorce or child custody case, two things are always important. Number one, seek the legal help that you need as soon as possible, and number two, find the person who is the most qualified in the field where you need help.

Did you know, for instance, that the spousal right of election entitles a spouse to claim one-third of the estate of his or her spouse or that child support is payable until the child turns 21 years old? In both of these cases you want to make sure that you are putting in plans so that you are proactive rather than reactive as much as possible. Legal issues rarely get better on their own, so planning ahead for the help that you will need from a municipal attorney in the event of a subdivision covenant dispute helps you understand what kind of situation you may have.
Just as different doctors and other professionals specialize in certain kinds of areas, so, too, do lawyers and attorneys. Knowing that you are working with someone who has substantial experience in the field where you need help can allow you to get the advice that you need and be on the path to finding the results that you desire. Few legal situations are easy or fun, but if you take the time to plan for the help that you will need by connecting with the right resources you will often be in a better position.

When it comes to dealing with family wills, estates, and endowments it is important to know that planning ahead is essential. Without a will and the proper legal paperwork in place, a family will lose a significant amount of money to the state and will also have to wait much longer for any kind of settlement. In the event of a dispute with the city or a home owners association, having a municipal attorney will allow you an objective viewpoint so that you can understand what rights that you have. Early legal advice is better than late legal advice and the most experienced help is always going to be beneficial.

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