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Meant to Be

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Martha Bird and Ruby

A small, fearful, brown and black mixedbreed dog. Not everyone would have recognized what Martha Bird did, looking at this timid dog at the Animal Humane Society. Due to a medical condition, Martha was searching for more than a pet; she needed a service dog. She found one in Ruby.

Working with trainers at AHS, Martha trained Ruby to provide the assistance she needed. As she did, Ruby's confidence grew. Now, six years later, they are a strong team. Ruby accompanies Martha everywhere and it's clear that this partnership was "meant to be."

Martha felt a strong connection to the Animal Humane Society and, while she admits she's not wealthy, Martha realized she "can still have an impact on an organization she loves." She became a member of the Society's Legacy Circle by simply adding the Society as a beneficiary on one of her retirement accounts.

Even now, Martha continues to build her relationship with AHS. She was the first Legacy Circle member to enroll her pets, Ruby and her two kitties, Whiskers and Hunter, in the Loved for Life program. This program provides peace of mind for pet owners by ensuring that, if they are unable to care for their pets in the future, the Animal Humane Society will find just the right family to continue caring for their beloved animals.

As soon as the Loved for Life program became available to Legacy Circle members, Martha filled out the forms to enroll her pets. She's relieved to know her cats will find a good home if something happens to her, and she's especially grateful that Ruby is enrolled in the program. "Ruby has such special talents," says Martha, "and I know the Animal Humane Society will find someone who can benefit from her services and her love."

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

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