The Herald - Planned Giving Newsletter - Summer 2011
SUMMER 2011 I n 1963, Nat King Cole hit #6 on the charts In This Issue while singing about the “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.” Almost 50 years later, I can safely Letter From say that I’ve seen the hazy and the crazy, but Father Scott ............................ 1 I’m still waiting for the lazy part of summer Probate: to arrive. Just the Facts, Please .............. 2 But summer truly should be a time to step back Make Your Will a and celebrate life. Family get-togethers, strolls around the block, sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch are all experiences Personal Statement ................ 2 that help us appreciate what’s really important. We need to make Decisions, Decisions, Decisions:Dear Friends time to allow those moments to happen. Living Trust or Will? ............... 3 And when we do have time to reflect on life and its meaning, Quick Tip ................................. 4 isn’t it true that our first thoughts often center on the people we have loved? Who comes to mind for you? Is it a love lost? Archangel Corner ................... 4 A spouse who is now dearly missed? A cherished friend who Terms You Should Know........ 4 continues to grace your life? When all is said and done, life truly is about love, how it is shared and how it is treasured. And one of the most wonderful things about love is that it stands the test of time – for love never dies. Every once is a while I get an insight into whom the children of Mercy Home remember when they reflect on the loves of their lives. Those insights typically come from former residents. Invariably, when these Mercy kids stop by (no matter how old, they’ll always be “Mercy kids”), they share how grateful they are for the time they spent in our Home. And they also share how profoundly touched they were when they first understood that the support they received came from people they will never meet or know. People like you. You were the one who gave them a second chance. You were the one who made it possible for them to hope and dream and create a future they never thought was possible. How these kids would love to say thanks to you! In this issue of The Herald, we have included some very practical pointers about a document that is really a type of love letter: a will or living trust. I hope you will find the articles helpful. Your love for the children of Mercy Home has stood the test of time. May I humbly ask that you prayerfully consider including our Mercy Home children in your will? It is a love they – and I – will never forget. Blessings, Fr. Scott Donahue
4 Terms You Should Know Administrator: The person or institution appointed by the probate court as personal representative to manage and distribute the propertyArchangel Corner of someone who dies without a will, or where an executor named in a will is unable to serve. F Beneficiary: A person or organization irst of all, I am named in a will, trust, life insurance or a Chicagophile. other document to receive assets from I like its history, an estate. Trust beneficiaries can receive its people and its either trust income or trust principal colorful politics. (when the trust terminates). When I retired, Federal Gift Tax: A tax upon the donor I felt I should of lifetime gifts to individuals in excess do something to help out young of $13,000 per donee per year. Amounts people, because they are our future. exceeding $13,000 are currently sheltered by a $5 million exemption.Howard Novak After reading a John Kass column inParma, Ohio the Chicago Tribune suggesting good Gross Estate: For federal estate tax charities, I slowly became involved with purposes, all the assets in which a Mercy Home. deceased person owned an interest at death, including life insurance, After the death of real estate and personal property. my sister in July 2004, Marital Deduction: A deduction for I learned that her estate federal estate tax purposes for 100% plans were in shambles.Quick Tip: of the value of all assets passing to a I wanted something surviving spouse who is a U.S. citizen. better planned for my estate. That’s when IBe sure to visit our newly contacted Mercy Home Meet Our Planned Giving Staffrevised Planned Giving Web with my estate plansSite, mercyhome.org. Click on and other donations.Giving, then click on Planned I know I made the rightGiving. We offer a wealth of decision after I saw theinformation on many helpful work being done by the Mercy Home for Boystopics, such as: “Personal and Girls.Planning Ideas,” “Chart Your Joe Voss Dan PritchardPath,” and “Creative Ways toSupport Mercy Home.” Joe Voss and Dan Pritchard have decades of planned giving experience helping Mercy Home’s donors make a lasting impact on the lives of our children. Their hallmark is being able to For more explain such topics as charitable This publication is prepared exclusively for information visit us at the information of our friends and donors. gift annuities, wills and trusts, www.mercyhome.org Its purpose is to point out current tax and estate planning in general developments which may be helpful in your tax using plain English. and financial planning. This material is based 1140 W. Jackson Blvd, on recent court decisions and current laws and Don’t hesitate to call them at Chicago, IL 60607 regulations. You should, of course, consult your 1-800-378-8266. No question is own legal, tax or financial planner as to the 1.800.378.8266 applicability of any item to your own situation. ever too small or unimportant.