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A Gift in Honor of My Dad

Tyrus Harmsen

Mark Harmsen recently made a provision in his estate plan to establish the Tyrus G. Harmsen Fund for the Library Collections.

By Mark S. Harmsen

"It will always stand out as one of the happiest [summers] ever spent, working in the midst of Henry E. Huntington's books."

Those were the words of my dad, Tyrus G. Harmsen, reflecting back on the summer of 1947 when he worked as a page at The Huntington.

He continued to work at The Huntington in the manuscripts and rare book departments from 1948 to 1959, less a time out to finish his master's degree at Stanford.

Although he left The Huntington to become head librarian at Occidental College in 1959, Ty Harmsen always maintained his fondness for The Huntington. He kept in touch with friends and colleagues, maintained his readers' card to research various projects, enjoyed attending lectures and exhibits, and loved to walk the grounds.

In my dad's later years, some of our best times together were spent strolling The Huntington grounds. As we walked, he often shared anecdotes of his time there, including the day he was asked to give a tour to Aldous Huxley and Igor Stravinsky.

From my first visit as a very young boy (when Dad showed me the "treasures" in the library exhibit hall), The Huntington has always been special to our family. My life has been enriched by visiting and supporting this unique and special place. And I think of my dad each time I walk through the library or visit the gardens.

Although Ty Harmsen passed away in 2012, I am pleased to honor his memory and work with a gift to The Huntington. In doing so, I know the generosity and hard work of so many will keep The Huntington vibrant and thriving so future generations can develop their own special bonds to Henry E. Huntington's vision.

You Can Make a Difference
Supporters like Mark help keep The Huntington's mission of enrichment, education, and stewardship alive for generations to come. To learn more about how you can make a lasting impact, please contact Cris Lutz at 626.405.2212.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to The Huntington 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

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 Huntington 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 potential 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 may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. 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 Huntington as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. 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 Huntington 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 Huntington where you agree to make a gift to The Huntington 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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