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Planned Giving

Charitable Remainder Trusts

"The friends I have gained at the Smithsonian far exceed my giving."

New York City Street by Bernard Stadiem

Bernie was a longtime friend of the Smithsonian and a photography enthusiast. Always carrying a camera around his neck, Bernie began shooting pictures when he served in the Navy on the carrier U.S.S. Midway during the Korean War. He operated a photo studio in New York City during the 1950s, and a later built a succesfful hobby shop business in High Point, North Carolina.

Several years ago when making out his will, Bernie decided to support the photography collection of the American Art Museum in a significant way. He converted business assets into two charitable trusts, and made the museum the beneficiary of his entire estate. His legacy will enhance the Museum's collection of American photography and support its exhibition.

There are two types of Charitable Remainder Trusts: Charitable Remainder Unitrusts and Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts.

A charitable remainder unitrust allows you to make a significant gift while retaining income from the property for yourself or another designee. The amount you receive as a life income is a fixed percentage of the trusts market value each year. You fund a unitrust with assets such as appreciated property or stocks which generate the greatest net savings for you. You are allowed an income tax deduction upon establishing the trust, based on the actuarially determined value of the charity's remainder interest. After your lifetime the principal of the trust is turned over to the Museum for use as you specified. A unitrust is a useful way to generate tax savings during your income-earning years and supplemental income after retirement.

Your annual income from a charitable remainder annuity trust never varies. This trust is similar to the charitable remainder unitrust, with the exception that this plan will pay you a fixed dollar amount each year for the rest of your life. At the outset, you decide the amount to be paid to you each year from the trust. You will receive payments from the trust assets, and it will be the same amount each year, regardless of changing interest rates and stock market fluctuations.

The Museum's Development Office will work with you to create a personalized illustration of how a chartable remainder trust might be suitable in your situation. Please contact us at (202) 633-8420 or by e-mail at contact for more information.

Pictured: New York City Street, by Bernard Stadiem, n.d. (artist b. 1930 d. 2005), silver print image and sheet: 10 1/2 x 13 1/2 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the artist.

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