Friends who choose to include White Plains Hospital in their wills, or have created lifetime trusts to benefit the Hospital, will automatically be enrolled in the Hofheimer Legacy Society. Named for the late Joseph and Natalie Hofheimer, long-time supporters of WPH, the Society was created to recognize individuals who have remembered the Hospital in their estate plans.
Starting as a volunteer in 1960, Natalie was an Auxiliary President and member of the Board of Directors, as well as one of the most active and dedicated volunteers in the Hospital's history. She was known to both staff and patients for her warmth and enthusiasm. Joe, who was introduced to WPHC by his wife, was a board member from 1975 until his death in 2007. He served as Chairman from 1982-1987. Together, the Hofheimers exemplified the ideal in service and commitment to community.
All members of the Society receive a specially designed certificate of membership, recognition in the WPH Annual Report and inclusion on the Society's Wall of Honor to be installed in the Hospital.
What is a Will?
A will is a legal document comprised of a set of written instructions directing the distribution of your personal assets, and your estate, and providing for the guardianship of dependents upon your death. It is the only means of ensuring that your family, friends and others you care about benefit from your assets upon your death.
You should create a will to make certain that the assets in your estate are distributed according to your wishes. Regardless of the size of your estate, a will guarantees that your family and friends and favorite charitable organizations receive the assets you intended for their benefit.
No matter what your age or the size of your estate, you should have a will.
Why is a will important?
Many people believe that a will, similar to life insurance, is an unnecessary provision for an event which seems to be too far off to be of concern.
If you pass away without a will, however, those people and organizations you want to benefit may never receive anything from your estate. The disposition of the assets from your estate are governed by state law which prescribes distribution of those assets to persons you may have never intended to benefit.
Potential income and estate tax savings, resulting from careful estate and financial planning, may not be achievable without a valid will.
What is a bequest?
A bequest is a statement in your will that transfers property from your estate to a named beneficiary. Through single or multiple bequests, you determine what and how much to provide for your intended beneficiaries. Bequests can be made to a spouse, children, grandchildren, friends or any other individual for whom you want to provide support. You can also designate charitable organizations to receive a bequest from your estate.
Types of bequests include:
- General - a gift of a specific cash amount or fractional share of your estate
- Specific - a gift of a specific item of property, such as real estate, particular securities, book collections, art, stamp or coin collections
- Residuary - a gift of a percentage of the remainder of one's estate after provisions have been made for debts, general and specific bequests, administrative expenses and estate taxes
- Contingent - a gift dependent on the occurrence of a specific event, traditionally the death of a named beneficiary, e.g. "I give to Y, if X does not survive me."
Why make a bequest to WPHC?
Bequests to White Plains Hospital from friends, staff and volunteers help us maintain our extraordinary commitment to provide quality health care to the residents of Westchester County.
In addition, since the Hospital is a qualified charitable organization under IRS regulations, your estate enjoys the benefit of considerable tax savings with a bequest to the Hospital. The full amount of your gift is deductible in determining the taxable estate. Regardless of the size of your charitable bequest, no tax liability will be incurred on the gift.
Unrestricted bequests to the Hospital are encouraged, for they allow us to dedicate resources to our most urgent needs. However, bequests to WPHC can be used to support programs of interest to the donor's family, to purchase state-of-the-art equipment, or to build modern facilities befitting the Hospital's preeminent position as the leading healthcare provider in the region. Your will designates the purposes that are most meaningful to you.
How to make a bequest to the Hospital
If you want to include WPH in your will, we suggest the following language:
"I give to White Plains Hospital, Inc., White Plains, NY, the sum of $xx,xxx (amount in words) dollars, for its general purposes."
Of course, if you want to designate a specific purpose, please include language to that effect in the bequest wording.
Updating your will
If you already have a will, you should review its provisions periodically to be sure they satisfy the needs of your current situation. As your circumstances change, or if a major event occurs - marriage, birth, retirement, death of a spouse or family member or other beneficiary - you may wish to modify your will, either with a codicil (amendment), or by drafting an entirely new will.
Trusts, established during your lifetime or through your will, can also offer substantial tax savings and provide support to WPHC.
A charitable remainder unitrust ("unitrust") is a gift plan defined by federal tax law that allows you to provide income to yourself, or others, for life, or a term of years, while making a generous gift to WPHC, or another charitable beneficiary. As a unitrust donor, you irrevocably transfer assets, usually cash, securities, or real estate, to a trustee of your choice. You can choose a friend, relative, bank or trust company as the trustee, or you can act as the trustee yourself. During the unitrust's term, the trustee invests the unitrust's assets. Each year, the trustee pays a fixed percentage of the unitrust's value, as revalued annually, to one or more beneficiaries named by you. Payments must be at least 5% of the trust's annual value. Payments may be made annually, or in semiannual, or quarterly installments. When the unitrust term ends, the unitrust's principal passes to the charitable beneficiary, to be used for the purpose you designate.
With a charitable lead trust, a donor similarly transfers assets, usually cash or securities, to a trustee of his or her choice. During the unitrust's term, usually a fixed number of years, the trustee invests the unitrust's assets. Each year, the trustee distributes a fixed dollar amount or a fixed percentage of the unitrust's value, as revalued annually, to the charitable beneficiary. These payments are used for the charitable purpose you designate. When the lead trust term ends, the trust distributes all of its accumulated assets to family members or other beneficiaries named by you. Nevertheless, the trust can be structured so that no gift tax is paid on transfer of the assets to your family members.
Consult With Your Advisors
The estate and financial information contained herein is for illustration purposes only and should not be considered legal, accounting, or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney, accountant or other financial advisors when creating your estate plan. These professionals can consider many factors, including your particular financial and family circumstances, as well as special legal and tax issues.
Questions and Information
We invite you and your advisors to contact us to discuss how White Plains Hospital can fit into your financial plans. For more information, please call or write:
Director of Development & Major Gifts
White Plains Hospital
41 East Post Road
White Plains, NY 10601