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Gift Planning

Paying It Forward: Elizabeth Collings Weekley Sutton

Elizabeth Sutton

Elizabeth Sutton

A child of the 1930s, Elizabeth Collings Weekley Sutton learned first hand the struggles and sacrifices of living on little income. As a small girl growing up in the depression, her father's only income was selling food from his garden on busy country roadsides. Elizabeth's mother occasionally earned money as a substitute teacher. When winter came, her parents burned wood in their coal furnace, smoking up the house and staining the walls. As her mother explained, coal was expensive, but new wallpaper was cheap.

And then, in 1936, her mother discovered that Elizabeth had developed a protrusion in her abdomen. With nowhere to turn, she took her little seven-year-old to Children's Mercy. The doctors diagnosed Elizabeth with a hernia, scheduled surgery, and told her parents that there would be no charge for their services. When Elizabeth was released, she and her mother wrote a letter to the surgeon, telling him how grateful they were for his care and inviting him to their home for a chicken dinner.

Now a retired school teacher, Elizabeth has dedicated her life to improving the lives of children and helping those in need. Elizabeth arranged a trust so that she can continue to help others even after she's gone. She named Children's Mercy a beneficiary of her trust as a "thank you" for helping her as a child and to help future children in need. In 2004, she arranged a Gift Annuity with Children's Mercy to make an even bigger difference. "I've read so much in the news about local children being hurt or mistreated," she explained, "and I feel so good knowing that many of them are taken to Children's Mercy for care."

Elizabeth's trust will help ensure that no child is ever turned away at Children's Mercy, regardless of the family's ability to pay. "Setting up my trust was a challenging process," Elizabeth said, "but the result has been extremely enjoyable. I feel so good knowing that after I'm gone, what I want done will be done."

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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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