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Dr. Robert Essick


Dr. Robert Essick

Dr. Robert Essick is a scholar, teacher, mentor, collector, historian, philanthropist and Overseer at the Huntington. He is one of a handful of known authorities on the life and study of William Blake and served as the curator of an exhibition of William Blake in the Boone Gallery. In addition, Bob has generously committed resources to endowing the future of the Huntington.

Further carrying on a tradition of philanthropy started by his father with the founding of the Essick Family Foundation in 1949, Bob has served as the foundation president for 23 years and continues to support museum projects throughout the country. To the benefit of the Huntington, the Essick Family Foundation now primarily supports work in the Huntington's Art Division as well as work in the Blake Archive in North Carolina.

On a more personal note, Bob has made The Huntington his primary philanthropy (other than his own collecting) and has established deferred gifts totally $5.6 million dollars. The single most significant was the establishment and funding of a charitable remainder trust using a piece of gifted real property.

Bob had inherited a lovely and valuable piece of waterfront property on the Southern California coastline. Although family memories tied him to this property its real value to him came in turning it into a gift ultimately earmarked for the Huntington; one that now produces life income. By gifting this property into a charitable trust, Bob was able to bypass the capital gain and subsequent tax, establish a nice charitable deduction to offset other forms of income and create a life income stream based on the sale value of the property. Bob has turned a relatively illiquid asset into an income producing asset that has the added benefit of supporting the source of much of his lifework and scholarly pursuits into perpetuity.

Additionally, through the use of 2 charitable gift annuities, Bob was able to gift cash and create an income stream for himself throughout his lifetime. Ultimately, his gifts will be used for the ongoing support of the Huntington, and for now we are able to thank Bob for his tremendous contributions. "I have been benefiting from research opportunities at the Huntington since 1969. A charitable gift annuity offers an excellent way of saying "thank you" to an institution that has meant so much to me. It is doubly gratifying to provide long-term financial support for the Huntington, one of our nation's great culture treasures, and at the same time obtain a steady stream of supplementary income for my retirement years."

Imagine creating something which bears your name and can be identified and honored by your family for generations to come. A very powerful and lasting way to share your legacy.

eBrochure Request Form

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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.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

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