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Ellen Powell Puts "Trust" in Le Bonheur


Margaret Ellen Stokes, Le Bonheur Club sustaining member Betty Barker and Dingo

When Ellen Powell died in 1988, both Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center and her niece, Betty Barker, were beneficiaries of her charitable remainder trust. Betty was the income benefi ciary and Le Bonheur was the remainder benefi ciary. Betty and her daughter, Margaret Ellen Stokes, a Memphis speech pathologist, were also named co-trustees of the trust.

Ellen's story started long ago, when her family settled on a farm in Arkansas, where the Mississippi and White Rivers meet. Their farm was at the end of a road, with no way out except to turn around. Ellen eventually moved to Memphis and became an active member of the Le Bonheur Club, joining soon after the organization was founded in the early 1920s. She sewed gowns for Le Bonheur patients and surgical masks and sheets for the operating room, worked in the gift shop and operated the hospital's elevator. Le Bonheur was small then, and club members were busy all the time, recalls Gloria Andereck, a longtime club member who remembers Ellen as a very active member who hosted Le Bonheur Club meetings at her home.

Betty also grew up on the family farm in Arkansas, and when she was old enough to go to school, she was sent to Memphis to live with Ellen, her father's sister, so she could attend Miss Hutchison's School for Girls. Betty lived with her Aunt Ellen from the time she was 6 years old through her college graduation, only visiting the family farm during summer vacations and holidays.

"She just loved Le Bonheur," Betty says, whose eyes light up when she talks about her beloved aunt. "Ellen was very careful and thoughtful about everything she did. She provided me with a wonderful, loving home."

Betty remembers her aunt as independent, strong-willed and lots of fun. Ellen was married to James Powell, an insurance executive. The couple was active at the University Club and Calvary Episcopal Church, where Ellen made waffles for the Waffle Shop every Lenten season.

Ellen was an avid bridge player and taught Betty how to shoot. Ever the equestrian, Ellen loved horses and horse racing and often traveled to the family tobacco farm in Kentucky, where they also raised horses. Ellen, who never had children of her own, lost her mother from tuberculosis when she was a toddler. Ellen's husband lived to age 90, and Ellen died just shy of her 90th birthday.

"My great-aunt was very much a true southern lady," Margaret says. "She was an interesting person to be around and an exceptional role model."

"I'm very proud that my aunt's gift will help children who might not have another chance," Betty says. "It's great to have Le Bonheur in Memphis and not have to send children somewhere else for care."

Betty, Margaret and Betty's two sons, Martin and Matthew Daniel, have chosen the new Le Bonheur Gift Shop to be named after Ellen Powell.

"Ellen sometimes worked shifts in the gift shop as a Le Bonheur Club volunteer, and that makes it appropriate for her name to be associated with this," Betty says.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Le Bonheur 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 Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 850 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN 38105, 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 Le Bonheur 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 Le Bonheur 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 Le Bonheur 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 Le Bonheur Children's Hospital where you agree to make a gift to Le Bonheur 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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