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Gift Planning

Giving Deliberately: Kathy Briggs

Briggs"I just can't say enough good things about Children's Mercy," says Kathy Briggs. Her daughter, Elayna, and son, Ethan, both received care at the hospital. Elayna was followed for a VSD, a hole in her heart she was born with, which fortunately never caused her any problems. It was Ethan's issues with Crohn's disease that really solidified the Briggs family's relationship with Children's Mercy.

When Ethan was in the 9th grade, he began experiencing symptoms associated with Crohn's. He started taking medication to control flare ups and manage his condition, and had surgery to address an abscess while a senior in high school.

"Dr. William San Pablo and Ellen Carpenter were just wonderful," shares Kathy. "They stuck with us through everything and went above and beyond."

The "everything" Kathy describes began when Ethan decided he wanted to go away for college. A plan she admittedly wasn't very keen on at the outset.

Ethan went away to Baylor in Waco, TX, as a freshman, and Kathy's worst fears were realized. He was hospitalized three times within the first year.

"I finally just had to bring him home," says Kathy. "By that time he was over 18, I didn't know if Children's Mercy would see him, but I needn't have worried.

"I called and told them about his condition," she continues. "They were so compassionate and told me I 'had a history there.'

"The doctors called ahead to the emergency room and told me to bring him in."

Ethan was admitted in April and remained at Children's Mercy for nearly a month.

"By the time he came home from school in Texas, he was down to around 100 pounds," Kathy says. "That's extremely underweight for a young man nearly six feet tall."

While at Children's Mercy, Ethan received TPN nutrition therapy and gained his weight back. Incredibly, one of the GI doctors had been on staff at a hospital in Temple, Texas. He told Kathy about this hospital just 30 miles from Baylor with a more advanced GI care level Ethan could go to when he went back to school...which he did in the fall.

Ethan must have inherited his adventurous spirit from his mother. As part of her personal credo of "living what she believes," Kathy began going on mission trips to Mexico in 2010.

"I'm very involved in my church," Kathy explains. "These trips took us to some very poor areas in the suburbs of Juarez. At the time of my first trip there were concerns about the safety of being in Juarez," she says. "I began thinking of my own mortality and doing some very thought-provoking reading.

"I decided that I wanted to give deliberately. To give while I'm still alive and be very conscious of where my assets are going."

Kathy also decided she wanted to "bless and help people who had blessed and helped her family."

Children's Mercy was among the organizations she chose to support. Kathy has designated the hospital as a charitable beneficiary of her IRA.

"One of my favorite professors once likened our lives to a pebble thrown into a pond whose waves circle out touching others until they eventually touch the shore," Kathy says. "By giving to Children's Mercy I am casting my pebble out so that it will result in waves of blessings that will spread and touch families' lives through Children's Mercy."

Today, Ethan is just six hours short of completing his degree in Business. He's specializing in Management of Information Systems. Kathy takes great satisfaction in knowing her gift to Children's Mercy will help children and families who are in the same situation her family was in not so long ago.

"It really is paying it forward," she says. "So many people helped me, and I want to be in that chain of caring and compassion.

"And you don't have to be a millionaire to make a difference," Kathy says. "That's why the IRA option makes sense for me. It allows me to be responsible—and very deliberate—about where my contributions will go."

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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, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Children's Mercy [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 gift 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 receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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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