Building (a) Trust:

Bankers Dennis and Yolanda De La Paz Find Value in Planned Giving & Trust Services

By Lynn McDowell, JD, CSPG
Office of Planned Giving

Dennis and Yolanda De La PazWhen it comes to financial savvy, Dennis and Yolanda De La Paz have it covered. Both high-level bankers for their entire careers, Yolanda's talent was recognized in her first job out of university, when her employer paid for her graduate degree in banking. Yolanda retired as a senior vice president of commercial banking; Dennis, also a VP, was legendary for his ability to quickly spot the weakness in any balance sheet, and was tapped by the FDIC to help sort through the 2008 banking crisis.

Their professional skills served them well in their private lives, too. Dennis' no-nonsense approach to the bottom line ensured that there would be no compromise of their lifestyle when they retired. Then came the diagnosis: prostate cancer.

Applying the thorough, methodical approach that was his trademark, Dennis looked at the treatment methods available. He found Bob Markini's book, You Can Beat Prostate Cancer, and concluded that proton therapy was the only therapy for him, and that Loma Linda University Health (LLUH) was the right place for it.

While a patient at the Proton Center, Dennis applied his strategic thinking to possible future scenarios. He wanted to make sure Yolanda and members of her family were cared for, and his respect for LLUH was growing by the day. After discussing his thoughts with Yolanda, Dennis went in search of LLUH's Planned Giving department.

"We found it very advantageous to work with Loma Linda," says Dennis. Director of Planned Giving Todd Mekelburg was particularly helpful in coming up with different ways to achieve their goals of taking care of family and making a significant contribution to LLUH and its Vision 2020 Campaign.

Because of some bad experiences with attorneys, Dennis was hesitant to structure a charitable remainder trust—or any other kind of trust. But attorney Kenneth Iwakoshi, director of Trust Services, turned that all around for Dennis. "The more we got into the process, the more positive the experience became," says Dennis.

Not only was Kenny pleasant and a good listener, Dennis and Yolanda knew from their professional lives that Kenny's legal work saved them several thousands of dollars. "Kenny insisted we have our attorney review everything," recalls Dennis. "The detail we were able to get with Kenny was very good."

To top it off, the De La Pazs remained in complete control while they deliberated about who to benefit and the best structure for their trust—a process that spanned two years. The discussion was always congenial and accommodating of Yolanda's desire to include two other charities as beneficiaries of the trust. It was a big relief to them when LLUH agreed to be named successor trustee, acting as always, without fee.

"Working with Todd and Kenny was a phenomenal benefit," says Yolanda, who'd served on the board of White Memorial Hospital, another Adventist healthcare institution. "I liked the idea of keeping it in the family."

"If you're going to have a trust," Dennis advises, "you should include a charity." Now in his fifth year of being cancer-free and maintaining the low Gleason scores that make his doctor smile, Dennis is glad he took the initiative to work with Planned Giving and Trust Services. The De La Pazs are money ahead, and confident that they've saved their family a lot of stress.

Why a Charitable Remainder in a Living Trust?

The living trust allows the donor(s) to benefit from trust payouts while they are alive. If a charitable remainder clause is included, the donor can ensure that family or other persons benefit from trust payouts for as long as the donor specifies, and then a charity or charities get what remains in the trust. The family or other individuals can receive payments from the trust for their lives or for a specific number of years. When that period ends, what's left in the trust ("the remainder") passes to the charity or charities named.

"It's a win-win," concludes Dennis. "You take care of your family, and help the Adventist family of charities," he smiles. It's clear he and Yolanda still feel good about their experience and happy with their decision: they've widened their circle of trust.

Not a bad result for a couple of veteran bankers.

Visit our website for more information on charitable remainder trusts and other planned giving strategies.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Loma Linda University Health 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 Loma Linda University Health, a nonprofit corporation currently located at (LegalAddress), 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 Loma Linda 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 Loma Linda 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 Loma Linda 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 Loma Linda where you agree to make a gift to Loma Linda 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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