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Rescued Cat Repays Her Owner


Lynne LeTart and Arawen

A few years ago, a stray cat arrived at our Woodbury location. She had been abused and was in terrible shape. Her face was wounded and she had an open gash in her leg. A medical examination revealed a broken tooth with an exposed nerve; a crushed nasal duct; and infections in her sinuses, chest, eyes, and ears.

Animal Humane Society staff began treating her and contacted our foster volunteers in search of a quiet, short-term home for this gentle cat they now called Lois. Meanwhile, they searched for a veterinary dentist willing to donate services to fix her painful tooth.

Foster volunteer Lynne LeTart offered to take Lois in and provide her with the temporary care she needed. When a week passed and no one had stepped forward to donate the dental surgery needed to repair Lois's tooth, Lynne decided to adopt this gentle cat and cover the cost of the needed surgery herself. She also brought her to an eye specialist, who helped her with her injured eye.

"Lois" made a full recovery, and was renamed Arawen. She developed a deep connection with Lynne, and began following her everywhere she went.

A year later, Lynne was diagnosed with breast cancer. This time, it was Arawen who offered support. She was Lynne's constant companion, staying by her side as she recovered, providing her with comfort and joy.

Lynne's bond with Arawen inspired her to join Animal Humane Society's Legacy Circle. By including us in her estate plans, she knows she'll be providing for animals like Arawen well into the future. "Arawen was so sick when she arrived at Animal Humane Society. They were able to help her and give her a second chance. I want to make sure they always have the resources they need to give animals like her a new beginning," Lynne explains.

As a benefit of becoming a Legacy Circle member, Lynne was able to enroll Arawen in Loved for Life, a program that offers to re-home your pet if you should pass away before they do. After the health scare Lynne went through when she discovered she had breast cancer, it gives her peace to know that Arawen will always be loved and cared for.

"Arawen always makes me smile. By including Animal Humane Society in my will, I'll be helping other animals and their new families get a chance for happiness, too."

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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.

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