Providing for the Future of the Zoo

Barry SattellBarry Sattell has been giving to the Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM) and the Milwaukee County Zoo for three decades. As a member of the Simba Circle, the ZSM's planned giving society, he knows his financial resources will continue to support the ZSM even after he's gone. In fact, Sattell, managing shareholder of accounting firm Sattell, Johnson, Appel & Co., S.C., helped start the Simba Circle two decades ago and is chairman of the ZSM's Endowment Trust. Here, he explains why he gives to the ZSM and why it's important to include the organization in a will or estate plan.

Q: What led you to help start what would become the Simba Circle?
A: In the mid-1990s, the captains of industry in the Milwaukee area were moving or passing away, and we had no assurance the next generation would be willing to step up and continue to help the Zoo and ZSM. Because of my understanding of financial planning, I was selected to help with the Planned Giving Committee. This committee later became the Simba Circle and led to the ZSM Endowment Trust.

Q: Why do you want to support the Zoological Society after you're gone?
A: My earliest memories and some of my happiest are going to the old Washington Park Zoo with my parents, just whistling and singing as we walked the grounds. The Zoo is one place to find happy people, young and old. The Society is a major champion of support for the Zoo, and I want to help by providing money after I'm gone (hopefully many years from now).

Q: How does giving through the Simba Circle work?
A: There are a number of ways someone can leave money and property through planned giving. It could be as simple as naming the ZSM in a will to receive a specific amount or a percentage of the estate. The ZSM can be named as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, or a member can buy a gift annuity, which provides him or her with a tax deduction and an income stream to the Zoo. These are just a few of the more common bequests.

Q: When did you start giving to the ZSM and the Zoo?
My financial relationship with the Milwaukee County Zoo began when my son Ben was stung by a bee during a visit. Not knowing if he was allergic, I searched high and low for a first-aid station. I was told that money was being raised to create one and was asked if I wanted to help. I said "yes," and now it's 30 years later.

Q: What's your favorite animal at the Zoo?
A: The hippos.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the Zoological Society of Milwaukee 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 the Zoological Society of Milwaukee, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 10005 W. Bluemound Rd., Milwaukee, WI 53226, 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 Zoological 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 Zoological 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 Zoological 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 Zoological Society where you agree to make a gift to the Zoological 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.

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