A Gift of Real Estate
Dorothy Frances Peniston worked hard and lived a life of service. Dorothy was one of five children and she never married. She cared for her parents and bachelor brothers, Bunt and Price, as they aged. Many years ago, Dorothy and her two brothers made the decision to leave their family's 460-acre farm in Livingston County, Mo., to Children's Mercy. Upon her death in 2005, Dorothy remained true to their agreement and Children's Mercy became the owner of the Peniston farm. Dorothy had set up a revocable trust during her lifetime and had designated Children's Mercy as sole residuary beneficiary. While the family farm was left to Children's Mercy, Dorothy also remembered family by leaving other assets to a niece, great nephew, and great nieces.
Gifts are made to Children's Mercy by many people, from a myriad of backgrounds with varied connections to the hospital. Many people who leave a gift were treated at the hospital as a child or have a child or grandchild who received treatment at Children's Mercy. Not so in Dorothy's case. According to her niece, Bertie Lou Canning, Dorothy had no such connection to the hospital. The attorney who represented the estate, Lloyd A. Cleaveland, explained the Penistons' decision: Dorothy and her brothers admired the care Children's Mercy provides to all children, regardless of the family's inability to pay. In 2005, Children's Mercy provided over $13 million in charity care.
Just as varied as the individuals and their reasons for giving are the types of gifts. A gift of real estate has advantages for both the donor and the charity. The charity can realize a substantial gift that the donor may not have been able to give otherwise and the donor or the donor's estate may realize tax advantages. In this case, the real estate gift from the Penistons was sold at auction and the proceeds – approximately $865,360 – was received by Children's Mercy.
Dorothy had made small gifts to the hospital over the years, but nothing close to $865,360. The farm that her parents bought in 1920 allowed Dorothy to leave a significant gift to Children's Mercy. Her legacy will help provide care for countless children for years to come.