Giving to HSS

Rewarding Kindness

Christiane RamirezGrateful for the successful care she has received at Hospital for Special Surgery over the past 20 years, Ms. Christiane Ramirez has joined The Wilson Society by establishing a charitable gift annuity. An annual contributor for nearly two decades, Ms. Ramirez was moved to make a planned gift to honor her physician, who she credits for the good health she enjoys today. "I feel very fortunate to have been a patient of Dr. C. Ronald MacKenzie for so many years," she said. "I decided to participate in the charitable gift annuity program because I wanted to pay tribute to him."

Ms. Ramirez first met Dr. MacKenzie in 1984, after undergoing a complicated surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH). As she recovered in the Hospital's clinic, Dr. MacKenzie, who holds an appointment at NYPH and HSS, cared for her. He would later become Ms. Ramirez's primary care physician.

"I was in a critical state after my surgery, when I met Dr. MacKenzie," she commented. "He was very supportive and sensitive to me as an individual. Since then, I have felt very comfortable under his care."

Born in Haiti, Ms. Ramirez immigrated to the United States in 1951 at 14 years of age. After attending high school in Queens, Ms. Ramirez and her family moved to Manhattan, where she completed a two-year nursing certification program at Bellevue Hospital. She worked as a registered nurse at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center for more than 30 years before retiring in 2002.

"When I was young and living in Haiti, my mother always encouraged me to become a nurse so that I could work alongside my godfather, who was a surgeon in Haiti," she said. "That never happened, of course," she laughed. "But I loved helping people, so I was very happy in that profession."

Today, Ms. Ramirez enjoys reading, taking long walks, visiting her sister who lives in Italy, and nurturing the flowers that adorn her home.

Taking care of her son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter is also among her interests. "The gift annuity program appealed to me because it allows me to make a gift to the Hospital without changing my current lifestyle, which includes supporting my own family," she said. The charitable gift annuity will provide Ms. Ramirez with income for life, a portion of which is tax-free, and the Hospital will eventually receive the residual funds in the annuity account. Ms. Ramirez's gift will provide critical support for the future of patient care, thereby recognizing the care provided to her by her physician.

"Dr. MacKenzie exudes a certain degree of kindness that you don't find very often," she remarked. "I made this commitment to HSS because I want him to know just how much I appreciate all that he has done for me."


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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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