It's All in the Family


Dr. Joan E. Shook and Dr. Jeffrey R. Starke

By Kathy W. Isdale

It was with a strong sense of joining a warm and close-knit medical family that Dr. Joan E. Shook and Dr. Jeffrey R. Starke each accepted residencies, fellowships, faculty positions at Baylor College of Medicine and posts at Texas Children's Hospital in the early 1980s.

As part of that family ever since, they met, married, raised a family of their own and began noteworthy careers that have allowed them to give back professionally and financially to both Texas Children's and their community.

Each of these unassuming doctors has made significant contributions to children's health, but both grew up in families of modest means who nonetheless gave generously of what they had. "In our giving, we tend to follow our hearts and where we are in our lives," says Dr. Shook. "But we also like to contribute to help children of limited means-so there will be at least one moment in time when they can have something new and feel that someone cares about them."

In addition to his work at Baylor, Texas Children's and Ben Taub General Hospital, Dr. Starke is involved in advocacy and public policy regarding children and children's health. He advises and serves on boards of several leading children's research and advocacy organizations, including Children at Risk, which he helped found over 20 years ago. "What we do in the hospital is very important," he says, "but what we do outside the hospital is equally important in terms of shaping children's lives and health."

Dr. Shook adds, "We need to remember the myriad of ways that organizations need involvement and support. If you feel passionately about something, a financial gift may be the right thing to do."



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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Texas Children's Hospital 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 Texas Children's Hospital, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Houston, TX, 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 Texas Children's Hospital 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 Texas Children's Hospital 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 Texas Children's Hospital 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 Texas Children's Hospital where you agree to make a gift to Texas Children's Hospital 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.

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