A Whole-Hearted Gift

Susan Rockwell

Susan Rockwell, R.N., with her trio of retired racing dog

As far back as she can remember, Susan Rockwell, R.N., wanted to heal broken hearts.

As a pediatric cardiology nurse at Texas Children’s Heart Center®, she dedicated her life to providing cardiac care to many young patients but always felt that she could give more.

Rockwell’s 26-year tenure at the Heart Center and the many life-saving treatments she saw pioneered there compelled her to make a planned gift to Texas Children’s Hospital.

“I’m amazed at what our cardiologists and other staff can do to save children every day in the Heart Center, and this is my contribution to that,” said Rockwell. Her present generosity also was inspired by a family tragedy that occurred years before.

William Blair, Rockwell’s older brother, was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a lethal congenital defect resulting in an underdeveloped heart.

He died at only four days old.

“My brother was born in 1952 when medical knowledge of a child’s heart was very limited,” recalled Rockwell. “I believe Billy would have lived were he born today and had received the kind of treatment available at Texas Children’s.”

Although she never met William, Rockwell takes comfort in knowing that her support of Texas Children’s is a lasting tribute to his memory and will help future generations of brothers and sisters live longer, healthier lives.

“I’m not a wealthy woman, but I believe everyone should give back,” explained Rockwell.

By including Texas Children’s in her estate plan, Rockwell became inducted into the J.S. and Lillie Abercrombie Society, which recognizes individuals who have arranged planned gifts to Texas Children’s Hospital.

Rockwell continues to give back to Texas Children’s, only now as a risk management specialist.

Her charitable spirit embraces the animal kingdom as well. As a self-confessed greyhound devotee, Rockwell shares her home with a trio of retired racing dogs and volunteers with the local chapter of Greyhound Pets of America®.

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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, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Texas Children's Hospital [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

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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

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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

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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 gift 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 receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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.

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