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Helen Drake Smetz

Helen Drake Smetz spent her life supporting her passions. As a teacher in the LAUSD for more than 30 years, Mrs. Smetz's love of children and the teachers who teach them was evident in everything she did. She placed great importance on the education of both.

The Huntington Library was blessed to find "an angel" in Helen. Throughout her involvement with the education department, Helen helped to provide an opportunity for hundreds of educators and thousands of school children to truly experience The Huntington. Typical of the incredible sphere of Helen's generosity, in one year alone children from 59 different schools visited The Huntington. Affectionately known as Helen's Kids these young students were introduced to the arts and passions of Henry and Arabella Huntington.

Today, Helen's legacy lives on in a gift made to The Huntington through her estate. The Helen Drake Smetz Endowment Fund has been established in concert with her wishes to support the educational activities at The Huntington Library, to educate, inform or encourage students of any age, to provide materials for Docent training and programs, to provide training materials and programs for teachers and students visiting The Huntington, to provide transportation to ensure schools in neighboring districts could also experience The Huntington and money for resources for computers and software to help in the internal management of our Educational Programs.

Helen's gift is indicative of how important our friends and volunteers can be in supporting the Huntington's mission of education for all generations.

We are honored that Helen chose to continue her legacy at the Huntington through the Helen Drake Smetz Endowment Fund.

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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