Ted and Alice and their IRA

Read "Ted and Alice's story" for an example of a planned giving journey

"A few months ago, Ted had a health scare and ended up in intensive care at Huntsville Hospital. His issue was addressed and he returned home in a few days. During his recovery, he and Alice talked about the great safety net the hospital provides, not just for them but for every single member of the community regardless of ability to pay ..."

Meet Ted and Alice.  They are a composite of several people we have come to know and love here at Huntsville Hospital Foundation. 

Ted and Alice moved to Huntsville in 1960. He worked for a government contractor for 45 years, then retired and started receiving his retirement benefits and Social Security. 

Alice taught school for 30 years and then retired. She too collects retirement benefits and Social Security. They are now in their mid-80s.

Ted and Alice have three children who are in their 50s.  They have eight grandchildren and two great-grandbabies. 

Their children have good jobs and have been able to provide well for their offspring. Ted and Alice have enjoyed giving them wonderful vacation trips and helped with the grandchildren’s college expenses.

During the pandemic, Ted and Alice began to reflect on their lives.  They are filled with gratitude for many things – their lives, their health, the lives and health of their family members and friends, their church, the meaningful work they were able to do in their careers, their social network, and the many interests they enjoy pursuing. 

At this point in time, Ted and Alice have a sizeable estate. Over the course of time, they paid off their car loans, then their mortgage. They paid for each child’s needs and many of their wants, including a college education. They have no debt, a large IRA, and a nice account with a local brokerage firm 

A few months ago, Ted had a health scare and ended up in intensive care at Huntsville Hospital. His issue was addressed and he returned home in a few days. During his recovery, he and Alice talked about the great safety net the hospital provides, not just for them but for every single member of the community regardless of ability to pay. They reflected on the fact in every health crisis, like the pandemic, every natural disaster, like a tornado, and every man-made crisis, like an automobile accident, Huntsville Hospital is there to care for everyone. And they reflected on a growing desire to leave a legacy that included more than just their immediate family. They wanted to make gift to the community that had made so many things possible for them, while setting an example for their descendants of the importance of showing gratitude and trying to provide for those who are less fortunate.

Ted and Alice had completed their wills years ago, leaving their entire estate to each other first and then to their children in equal shares. But they decided to talk with their accountant to try to find a way to leave a gift to the hospital. 

The total value of their estate was under the current Federal threshold of $11.5M each, so their heirs would owe no taxes on their inheritance. However, Ted’s sizeable IRA, which would pass to the children equally after Ted and Alice’s deaths, would have to be drained by the children within 10 years and they would have to pay taxes each time they received a withdrawal. 

Ted and Alice decided to leave this IRA to Huntsville Hospital. To do so was very simple. They didn’t have to go back to their attorney to change their will. They only had to request a beneficiary form from the brokerage firm that holds the IRA and designate the Huntsville Hospital Foundation as the beneficiary. They hope to leave the entire amount but they have the security of knowing that the money in the IRA is there for their use should they need it while they are alive.

Ted and Alice have an especially fond place in their hearts for those who have not enjoyed the financial security they have. They have indicated on the donor intent form filed at the Foundation office that they want their donation to help offset the cost of indigent care. When the time comes, the staff at the Foundation will work with their family members to ensure that the funds are used in this way and to come up with an appropriate recognition for this generous gift. 

In the meantime, Ted and Alice are now members of the Heritage Society, one of the Foundation’s most treasured donor groups. They are guests at an annual appreciation event and receive special tours, free parking, and cafeteria and gift shop discounts at the hospitals plus individual, personalized assistance if hospitalized. That is the least Huntsville Hospital can do in grateful appreciation for their consideration, forethought, planning, and disposition from the work of two lifetimes.

This story serves as an example of a planned giving journey, and is not based on the specifics of any specific donor. 



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