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Jane's IRA Will Give Animals a Second Chance

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Jane Norling with Reba, Max and Ozzy

The three dogs now sharing their lives with Jane and her husband, Tom, have taught her well. Ozzy, Reba and Max finally found their "forever home" after being abused and neglected.

This story actually started a few Christmases ago, when Jane's husband gave her an Akita puppy, which they named Kisha. This beautiful pup was quite a handful and they decided she needed her own canine companion. Enter Ozzy—a coonhound mix that had been beaten and starved. He was, according to Jane, "one of the ugliest dogs you'd ever seen," and Kisha fell in love with him! Kisha remained in love with Ozzy until she died a few years later.

Since Jane served on the Board of the Buffalo campus before its merger with the Animal Humane Society (AHS), she often heard other "hard-luck" stories; dogs who came from such difficult circumstances that the staff were unable to find permanent homes for them. Reba, a Presa Canario mix, came from a crack house. Max, a greyhound/pointer mix, had been adopted and returned three times—too much energy was the reason. Now they, along with Ozzy, provide loads of love in the Norling household.

Realizing how important animals were to her, Jane set up an IRA that, upon her passing, will financially benefit animal-related organizations she has chosen, including AHS. Jane has three recommendations regarding estate planning:

  • Utilize the services of a good estateplanning attorney. It's worth the expense to make sure it is done correctly.
  • Once you've created your estate plan, don't forget about it! With changes in families and finances it's a good idea to review your plan every few years.
  • Stop procrastinating and just do it! You really will feel better once it's done.

AHS thanks Jane for following her recommendations and for including the Society in her estate plan!

eBrochure Request Form

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Animal Humane Society 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, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to the Animal Humane Society [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 the Society 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 gift 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 receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 the Society as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 the Society 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 the Society where you agree to make a gift to the Society 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.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.