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Gift Planning

Educator's Community Spirit Leads to Planned Gift: Oleta Breshears Maurer

Oleta Maurer, honored as the 2002 Missouri Retired Educator of the Year.

Oleta Maurer, honored as the 2002 Missouri Retired Educator of the Year.

Born the youngest of eight children in Avery, Mo., Oleta Breshears Maurer's life began in a home blessed by a giving spirit. In the late fall of 1915, the Breshearses were smoking five butchered hogs for their winter meat in a smokehouse adjacent to their home.

That night, pregnant with Oleta, Mrs. Breshears was sleeping with most of her family in the back bedrooms. Daughter Ethel, who had stayed up to study in the kitchen, looked out the window and saw flames taking over the smokehouse. Ethel hurried to get everyone outside as Mrs. Breshears ran to the well to draw buckets of water. She pumped until the well was dry, but despite her efforts, they could not contain the flames. The family watched as their home burned to the ground.

To make matters worse, Oleta's father had been unable to make his last payment on their only insurance policy through the local church. With seven hungry mouths to feed and Oleta on the way, the town of Avery joined together to help the Breshears. The insurance agent wrote a letter asking his company to honor the policy, and every member of the church signed the letter. The company agreed to reinstate the policy, and the Breshearses were able to build their new home.

This community spirit quickly instilled itself in Oleta and, at an early age, she knew she wanted to be an educator. Oleta attended Central Missouri State University, earning three degrees in education. She taught five years in rural areas near her hometown and spent her last 34 years with the Hickman Mills School district – 12 years as an elementary school teacher and 22 years as an elementary school principal.

Throughout her career, Oleta had many young students go to Children's Mercy. She knew several families who benefited from charity care and doctors and nurses who volunteered their time at the hospital.

"I heard about Children's Mercy when I started teaching in Kansas City," she said. "I knew that children were going to be taken care of at Children's Mercy whether their parents could afford it or not. That was my only concern. So, when I started my trust, I decided to include a percentage of my estate to Children's Mercy."

Did Oleta ever feel as though she had given enough?

"I don't know how much is enough. I just get a lot of joy out of helping others," she replied.

Oleta Maurer was elected the 2002 Missouri Retired Educator of the Year and then became a lifetime member of the Church of the Brethren, the same organization that came to her family's aid more than 90 years ago. In July 2010, Oleta passed away at the age of 94.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Children's Mercy a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Children's Mercy, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Kansas City, MO, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Children's Mercy or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Children's Mercy as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Children's Mercy as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Children's Mercy where you agree to make a gift to Children's Mercy and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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