Ray and Kelly Wilson: A Legacy of Support

Ray and Kelly WilsonRaymond Wilson, of New Berlin, has lots of fond Zoo memories. There were the four times he camped out with his family during the Zoological Society's Snooze at the Zoo. "You're sleeping in your tent and hear all these strange noises from the animals that you don't hear in the day." There was the first time he heard the unforgettable roar of Themba, the Zoo's male lion. "It rattles your chest!" And, there was the satisfaction of helping the Zoological Society plan successful events for more than 12 years and raise money for its mission.

These experiences explain why Wilson continues to increase his involvement with the Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM) since being transferred here from New York City in 1998 for a career opportunity. "After I arrived, one of our partners in the office asked if I'd be interested in getting involved with the Zoological Society." And he did, starting out as an Associate Board member helping with the Society's special events. Currently he serves on the ZSM Board of Directors. Wilson also joined the steering committee of the Simba Society, a group created by the ZSM to recognize donors who support the Zoological Society in a will or with a legacy gift. In addition, he and his wife, Kelly, became Simba Society members themselves. "Kelly and our three kids have gotten a lot out of the Zoo, and I want to make sure the institution continues to thrive into the future." he says. "I want my grandchildren to have the same experiences at the Zoo that my kids have had, and continue to have."

Simba Society members can bequeath legacy gifts to the Zoological Society in a variety of ways. The Wilsons designated a part of their estate to go to the Zoological Society because they believe strongly in the importance of the Zoo and the ZSM's mission. Ray Wilson says that making a legacy gift does more than just help the Zoo. "It helps Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin. When you make a legacy gift, you're supporting one of the key institutions that our state has to offer. Raymond Wilson is a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to the Zoological Society of Milwaukee [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 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 the Zoological Society 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 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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