Greg Swanson is Ensuring that His Generosity Will Live Forever Through a Bequest

Greg Swanson

Greg Swanson

When Greg Swanson’s mother was admitted to the MassMutual Wing of the Davis Family Heart and Vascular Center for the last time in October 2015, she was embraced in the compassion of her care teams – as well as the generosity of hundreds of people she knew.

Born in Springfield’s North End, Theresa Sorel Swanson raised six children while advancing a successful, 25-year career at MassMutual. Several of her children – including Greg – followed in her footsteps as MassMutual employees. In 2000, Theresa began another long relationship – with Baystate Medical Center – when she was rushed to the hospital for emergency cardiac surgery. She was hospitalized twice last year, ultimately passing away at the end of October. “Her room was absolutely beautiful, and I can’t say enough about the care she was given – and that we were given as a family – by her doctors and nurses by her social worker and by her palliative care team,” Greg remembers.

Theresa Sorel Swanson

Theresa Sorel Swanson

“They made my mother as comfortable as possible, and they were so good to all of us.” Throughout his mother’s stay, Greg was mindful of the spirit of generosity that fuels Baystate Health. “I was greeted by a volunteer at the reception desk who had worked with my mother at MassMutual,” he remembers.

“Walking through the corridors, taking the elevator, everywhere I went, I kept seeing the names of people we knew on plaques. It really hit me that the hospital needs all the help we can give. I knew that I wanted to be part of it.” Greg decided to include a bequest to Baystate Health in his will. “I believe that we’re here to help other people, and I’ve tried to give back to our community through board service and other volunteer activity with community organizations,” he says. “I’m now very proud to support Baystate Health Foundation as well.”

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Baystate Health Foundation 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 Baystate Health Foundation [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 Baystate Health 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 Baystate Health 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 Baystate Health 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 Baystate Health where you agree to make a gift to Baystate Health 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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