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Multimillion-Dollar Gift Supports Art and The Huntington


Hannah and Russ Kully

Since the 1990s, Hannah and Russ Kully have been actively involved with The Huntington. The Kullys have been Fellows for many years as well as members of the Art Collectors' Council. Russ is an Overseer, has served as chair of the Overseers' Art Collections committee, and currently resides as chairman of the Overseers.

The Kullys have taken a monumental step that underscores their belief that art is an important dimension of life and their commitment to The Huntington by pledging $3 million as a gift to endow the position of Director of the Art Collections. Our acting director, John Murdoch, is currently serving as the Hannah and Russ Kully Director of the Art Collections. The Kullys' gift also included an additional $1 million for general support of the art collections at the discretion of the board of trustees.

Finding a Gift that Works
"What made sense to us was to propose a large immediate gift, together with a pledge in the form of an enlarged bequest, which would give us the opportunity to leave a named legacy," Russ says. The Kullys knew that they did not have the ability to make a large gift right away; the greatest portion of their resources is primarily tied up in real estate, which they do not plan to sell for many years. "We rearranged our resources so as to generate an immediate gift funding a large portion of the art director's endowment, with the remainder coming by way of an irrevocable bequest payable out of our estate," Hannah explains.

They have also bequeathed Hannah's collection of American prints. This impressive collection of mostly black-and-white images was begun in the 1980s and continues to grow under the care of Hannah and her practiced eye and the collegial relationship with our curator of American Art.

An additional opportunity for giving presented itself through an act of Congress which has been renewed through 2011. Since the legislation was first passed in 2006, the Kullys have used current IRA provisions for charitable giving to The Huntington and other institutions. "For us, our IRA is ultimately committed to charitable purposes to avoid a rather shocking tax to our heirs. In addition the IRA gift itself is tax-neutral; in other words, we are able to make these gifts without a penalty and without an addition to ordinary taxable income (conversely there is no charitable deduction for this gift as well). And lastly, the IRA provisions have allowed us to achieve our optimum charitable goals at a time when we might not otherwise have been able to do so," Hannah says.

We are grateful to the Kullys for their overall generosity and the planning involved in creating their valuable gifts to The Huntington. If you would like to know how you can support The Huntington through a gift in your will or living trust, please contact Cris Lutz at 626.405.2212 or

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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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