Giving to HSS

Couple Honors Physician with Bequest

Morris CoppersmithGrateful for the extraordinary care they have received at Hospital for Special Surgery, Maria and Morris Coppersmith have chosen to name the Hospital in their wills.

"My wife and I want to leave our estate to organizations that have made an impact on our lives, such as HSS, especially because we don't have any children," says Mr. Coppersmith.

In 2002, Mrs. Coppersmith was diagnosed with a rare but debilitating condition that caused numbness in her legs and arms. After undergoing a series of unsuccessful treatments at another hospital, she was referred to Michael Lockshin, MD, a rheumatology specialist at HSS with a keen interest in Mrs. Coppersmith's condition. Dr. Lockshin would eventually become Mrs. Coppersmith's primary care physician. In 2005, he enrolled her in a clinical trial measuring the success of a new therapy for her illness.

"Dr. Lockshin is one of only a few physicians who is familiar with Maria's condition," Mr. Coppersmith said. "Under his care, she has found both comfort and relief."

Born in Colombia, Mrs. Coppersmith immigrated to New York nearly 44 years ago, where she pursued a career in the textile industry. She met Mr. Coppersmith when they lived in the same development in the Bronx, the borough in which he was born and raised. A graduate of Stuyvesant High School and City College of New York, Mr. Coppersmith worked as a mechanical engineer for R. Hoe and Co., where he designed printing press machinery for the New York Times and color presses for Conde Nast. He joined the engineering department at Con Edison in 1971 and remained there until his retirement in 1991. Today, the couple shares a passion for camping in places such as Canada, Mexico, and California.

The Coppersmith's thoughtful bequest to HSS will serve as an important source of support for future basic science and clinical investigations into rheumatic diseases undertaken by Dr. Lockshin and his colleagues. "I am confident that every penny HSS receives from us will be used in accordance with our wishes," Mr. Coppersmith remarked.


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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Hospital for Special Surgery 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

"I give to Hospital for Special Surgery, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 535 East 70th Street, New York, NY 10021, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

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 HSS 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 HSS 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 HSS 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 HSS where you agree to make a gift to HSS 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.

A codicil is a document that is used to make changes to a will that has already been created.

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