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Gift Planning

Ali's Fight for Life

Aliby Gina Lafler

Ali was born at 29 weeks gestation (average gestation time is 40 weeks). Her respiratory system was not only premature, but also compromised by her biological mother's drug use. She spent most of her first year of life in Children's Mercy.

Ali's first trip was by helicopter because, for some unknown reason, her body temperature had dropped to 92.4 degrees. By the time I got her to the doctor's office 10 minutes away, her breathing was very shallow and she was a little grayish in color. Our doctor's office, as well as the local fire department and the life flight crew, did everything within their power to get her alive to Children's Mercy. It was touch-and-go when she arrived. Ali was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for seven days and underwent many tests. With great care and much love, she was finally able to come home with us.

Ali's Continued Struggle
From October 2006 through March 2007, Ali spent at least one week of every month in the hospital. Pneumonia, bronchiolitis, influenza B—everything attacked her lungs. Deep suctioning was part of her routine and her life. She arrived by ambulance as often as in our family car. But Ali is a fighter, and the Children's Mercy staff are lifesavers. At Ali's final visit in March, we were provided with an asthma action plan.

Because of gross motor delays (she did not walk until 21 months), Ali was referred to the rehab clinic in September 2008. She received her first of three Dynamic Ankle-Foot Orthoses (braces) and started physical therapy twice a week at Children's Mercy South. After the initial consult with the rehab clinic, it was suggested Ali have an MRI to confirm or deny cerebral palsy. In October 2010, she had an MRI performed at the hospital that confirmed what we all had suspected: a form of cerebral palsy called spastic diplegia.

Ali has received three rounds of botox therapy, with her fourth due in September. She also has had one four-week round of serial casting. Ophthalmology has seen Ali since birth and fitted her for her glasses. She handles it all like a trooper!

A Kid at Heart
Ali had her fifth birthday on August 17. She is in "pre-k" and loves it. She swims, rides bikes, jumps on the trampoline, and keeps up with the other children her age. She is the most determined, independent and loving little girl you will ever find.

Our family is thankful for our pediatrician who is an advocate of Children's Mercy. Without Children's Mercy we wouldn't have had our little girl to adopt and forever be a part of our family. We cannot say it enough: Children's Mercy saves lives and also makes them better. We literally owe her life to the doctors and nurses of Children's Mercy!

When you include a gift to Children's Mercy in your financial and estate plans, you'll be giving other children like Ali a chance at a better life.

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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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