The Zoo's Friend

Mrs. Helen Brown was the first major donor to Project: North America, almost 30 years ago. She called us asking to sponsor the Arctic Fox collection in memory of her husband.

When a stroke, at about 90, necessitated her move into a Raleigh retirement facility, Springmoor, I started visiting. We became friends. In recovery, she learned to write left-handed. Later, a broken left wrist got her writing right-handed again and leading her exercise class at Springmoor.

She taught children and adults English as a Second Language. She stayed active in her book club and her churches.

She celebrated life, initiating a Zoo visit and staff tour for Springmoor residents. She asked me to speak at its lecture series. She toured the Zoo with me for her 95th birthday. At 96, she attended her 75th high school reunion. When her legs finally faltered, she raced down Springmoor's halls to show that her walker would steady, but never stop her.

She asked me to her big 100th birthday party at a local tea room. I took her flowers on her 103rd birthday and saw pictures of "her" Arctic Foxes resting near the wheelchair where she sat and, often, slept. Mrs. Brown peacefully stopped breathing July 13, 2005.

At the request of Duke Medical Center, Mrs. Brown left her brain to researchers studying Alzheimer's Disease. They wanted to study a model of a healthy aging brain. She left 24 gifts to loved ones, 29 more to non-profits to support scholarships for needy (often female) students of modern-languages; a college library; programs that prevent child abuse, study AIDS, care for people and animals, sponsor symphonies and chamber music and benefit churches and literacy and more.

Her two largest bequests (each for $100,000 and half of the residual estate) went to the Wake County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and to the N.C. Zoo Society.

Her memory blesses us all.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to North Carolina Zoo Society 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 North Carolina Zoo Society, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Asheboro, NC, 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 the N.C. Zoo Society 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 N.C. Zoo Society 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 N.C. Zoo Society 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 N.C. Zoo Society where you agree to make a gift to the N.C. Zoo Society 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.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

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eBrochure Request Form

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