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The Huntington's Gift to Us

Nan Rae

Photo by Martha Benedict

By Nan Rae

I've become convinced that everyone has a unique purpose that only they can fulfill. I found mine, in large part, some 20 years ago when James Folsom, Telleen/Jorgensen Director of the Botanical Gardens, asked me if I'd like to teach my brush painting classes at The Huntington. The classes began in "The Garage," which is now the beautiful Boone Gallery. At the time, the botanical staff was in trailers!

Through the years, the kindness that Dr. Folsom and Danielle Rudeen, his amazing assistant, showed me left such an impression. I began to see that this is the template for everyone connected with The Huntington. It's been my great privilege to not only introduce people who spend their week in "left-brain" work to the joy of painting, but to watch them open up to a world of creativity they never knew they possessed.

Every once in a while a student will look at me and say, "It's not about the art, is it?" That's exactly right. It's about learning to connect with the beauty we see around us and feel within us and in a large measure, that's the gift of The Huntington to the public as well.

It's been great fun almost since the beginning to have my greeting cards sold in The Huntington Store along with my instructional book, The Ch'i of the Brush. Janet Crockett, Director of Retail Operations for The Huntington Store, has such an amazing eye that I feel it's a great honor to be included in the store.

As for the gardens, my favorites are the exquisite Rose, Chinese, and Japanese Gardens for reflection and contemplation. It's delightful to be treated to a lovely day absorbing their beauty. One can also find engaging art and library exhibits along with scholarly lectures and wonderful family programs.

After all these years of such goodwill, there wasn't a moment's hesitation when Cris Lutz, Planned Giving Director, asked me if I would consider including The Huntington in my estate plan. How wonderful to know that in some small measure I will be able to affect lives in the future—especially those of young people who need so desperately to be impacted by The Huntington on so many levels.

The Huntington today encourages research and promotes education in the arts, humanities, and botanical sciences through the growth and preservation of its collections, through the development and support of a community of scholars, and through the display and interpretation of its extraordinary resources to the public. Because of that, I would encourage everyone to think of a way to be part of this amazing institution—not only for the impact on our community, but on the world at large.

Your Support Matters
If your life has been enriched by The Huntington, please consider including a gift in your estate plan so that future generations can enjoy its treasures and programs. Contact Cris Lutz at 626.405.2212 or to learn more.

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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