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Gift Planning

Happily—and Healthier—Ever After

Tara BellerBy Tara Beller

I was 12 years old in June of 1998, the summer between my sixth- and seventh-grade years at school. I started having headaches in the front of my forehead, not keeping any food down and felt tired all the time. I went to my doctor and they thought it was just a stomach bug, so they gave me some medicine and I went home. It seemed to get better, so I went on with my life.

A couple of weeks later it started up again, but this time my balance was poor. The doctor checked me over and administered tests for illnesses like mononucleosis. Those tests came back fine, so he gave me a barium swallow and scheduled a CT scan for the next week. When I went for my CT scan, it could not be administered because the barium was still in my system since I hadn't been able to keep anything down—water, food, anything.

My family and I went home to find a message on our answering machine telling us to go down to Children's Mercy and there would be a doctor waiting for us. When we arrived, I couldn't even stand up—that was how bad my balance was. So the doctor took me into an exam room and kept checking my eyes. She told my parents that she was going to order an MRI right away. Within 45 minutes after my MRI, the doctors diagnosed a brain tumor.

They didn't know if it was cancerous or not until they performed surgery. I was so dehydrated that I spent four days in ICU before my surgery. They told my parents that if they hadn't caught it when they did, I could have been dead within two weeks. I had my surgery on August 10, a Monday, and the tumor was cancerous. I spent a week in the hospital after that. I ended up having a year and a half of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation.

Children's Mercy Makes All the Difference
My time spent at Children's Mercy was a difficult but good time. The nurses were great to me, and they still know me 12½ years later. Everyone there was not only good to me, but to my family, too. They took care of them as much as they took care of me.

My story continues to be a happy one. On May 22, 2010, I married Blaine Beller, and currently work as a human resources assistant. I would not choose any other hospital but Children's Mercy to take your kids to. Thanks to everyone at Children's Mercy, especially the Hematology/Oncology Clinic!

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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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