After losing his wife of 55 years to cancer, Jim Baker of Clearwater, Florida, changed his estate plans to include an endowment benefiting MD Anderson in her name. He also established two charitable gift annuities to receive steady income while supporting the institution.
Bruce and Susie Peden of Fort Worth believe strongly in supporting groundbreaking science. After reading about MD Anderson for years, they dedicated a portion of their estate to the institution's world-class research program.
Doris Zagon of Pembroke Pines, Florida, lost her son, Michael, when he was only 14. In his memory, she made a bequest through her estate to create the Michael Louis Zagon Children's Sarcoma Endowment.
Baker, Zagon and the Pedens have unique perspectives on estate planning, with one common bond: They are members of the MD Anderson Legacy Society, which honors donors who use planned giving to invest in MD Anderson's future and its mission to end cancer. Planned giving includes any gift made in life or at death as part of a donor's overall financial and/or estate planning.
Various options available to donors include appreciated securities, charitable bequests, charitable gift annuities, charitable lead trusts, charitable remainder trusts, life insurance, real estate, retirement plans, revocable living trusts and tangible personal property. These giving vehicles can benefit a variety of programs at MD Anderson, providing seed money for oncologists to conduct basic science and clinical research, enhancing patient care, enabling professional education programs and supporting capital projects such as patient care and research facilities.
Planned gifts of all types and sizes not only offer donors the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients and their families, but also can generate income and reduce income taxes.
It all began with a planned gift
Monroe Dunaway Anderson was a successful banker and businessman who co-founded what would become the world's largest cotton merchant, Anderson, Clayton and Co. He had the foresight and vision to understand the impact of developing an estate plan that would benefit the greater Texas community upon his death. He created a charitable foundation that would receive a large portion of his estate upon his death in 1939.
Soon after taking possession of the estate, the foundation trustees worked with the Texas Legislature to establish a hospital for cancer research and treatment. The M.D. Anderson Foundation agreed to match the $500,000 provided by the Legislature. Because of his generosity, the hospital was named for its benefactor.
A joint decision
Patty Abbott knows firsthand the advantages of planned giving. Though her husband, Jerry, died recently, the plans they put into place years ago are ensuring a reliable and secure source of retirement income for Patty while helping finance the future of cancer research and patient care.
About a decade ago, soon after Jerry became an MD Anderson patient, the Abbotts began supporting the Annual Fund. Later, to receive a steady income stream and benefit the institution they loved, they created five charitable gift annuities. This allowed them to make a generous contribution to MD Anderson and receive needed income.
Additionally, they designated MD Anderson to receive a portion of their estate, directing their gift to particular areas of interest.
Annuities can be set up as single life, offering income until the donor dies, or joint life, adding a layer of financial security for a surviving spouse. The Abbotts decided on the joint life annuity option, and Patty will continue to benefit financially from this decision for the rest of her life.
“We are blessed to have such a world-class cancer center as MD Anderson, and it gives me great satisfaction to support the clinicians and researchers who are making a difference for patients around the world,” says Patty. “It’s an investment in the present and the future.”