Visionary John C. Silvey, Jr. Creates His Legacy

By Kathy W. Isdale

John C. Silvey, Jr.After a long international career as a pipeline engineer, John C. Silvey, Jr. returned to his roots in Houston, where he grew up with a maternal aunt and uncle and now lives in their Heights-area bungalow.

Active and healthy at 85 years old, and firmly controlling the reins of his life and future, Mr. Silvey has carefully and thoroughly studied all the options for planning and investing his estate-and Texas Children's Hospital features prominently in those plans. He has created a charitable gift annuity with the hospital and included a generous bequest in his will.

The annuity and bequest are directed to support general purposes of the hospital, but Mr. Silvey has indicated that, if possible, he would like the bequest to help support patient care and family travel needs of any children who may come to Texas Children's Hospital from foreign countries in which he spent much of his working life.

A native Texan whose family came on the heels of statehood, Mr. Silvey is a man of extraordinarily broad knowledge and varied interests, particularly in Texas and Civil War history. His family was integrally involved in Houston's growth from as early as the 1850s-his paternal grandfather was a Civil War blockade runner who later became a cabinet maker with a shop across from the structure that became the Rice Hotel, and his mother's family survived the 1900 Galveston storm.

Mr. Silvey graduated from Rice University in 1943 with a mechanical engineering degree and immediately went to serve in World War II. Mustered out in Germany during the postwar era, he was able to attend some of the Nuremberg trials. Returning to the United States, he worked in the pipeline industry in a career that would take him to Great Britain, the Netherlands,Venezuela and Nigeria.

Mr. Silvey never married or had children of his own, but he says, "I made a good living and good friends in those countries through the years. It was my idea to do something that would honor and thank them and at the same time help a very worthy cause. I feel this is a good and visionary thing to do."

Mr. Silvey notes a special reason for selecting Texas Children's Hospital for his charitable gift annuity. "I wanted to provide additional diversity in my assets, and Texas Children's is the only charitable organization I was interested in that would accept an annuity of less than $25,000.That really impressed me, and I truly felt this was where I wanted my money to go."

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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."

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 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.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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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