Dr. Ed Draper

Dr. Ed Draper

It could be a valuable coin collection, a vacation home in Florida or a retirement plan remembrance.

Natalie Hutto

Natalie Hutto

Gifts to the University of Mississippi Medical Center are getting more creative as donors lay plans for the future or step in to meet current needs. Natalie Hutto, the Office of Development’s new director of gift planning, is answering a growing number of questions current and potential donors have about how an unusual asset can benefit UMMC.

Trends in giving tracked by the development office show donors are thinking carefully about how their gift will benefit the state’s only academic health science center, and how a planned donation can be a gift in itself when it comes to ease in settling a giver’s estate.

“One of the more unique gifts we’ve received recently is from a donor who gave gold Krugerrand coins and silver bars,” said Hutto, a certified public accountant and tax attorney. “That will fund a year- and- a- half of medical school tuition.

“We have some people who are donating second homes, or leaving a remainder of the interest in their home to fund an endowment or support a certain department,” Hutto said. “It may be that none of their children want to inherit the house, and leaving their personal residence to UMMC at the death of the surviving spouse is the perfect way to benefit UMMC and eliminate the estate having to maintain and sell the property.”

Donors can be assured that philanthropic gifts to the Medical Center will be put to use supporting a worthy cause of their choice. The range of opportunities is almost limitless, from scholarships to faculty development and from research to new facilities. The new School of Medicine, under construction with state bond money, will nevertheless benefit from private giving to offer state-of-the-art technologies like a simulation center.

Hutto’s expertise in estate, gift and income tax planning, with an emphasis in charitable giving, is key to giving donors advice on estate planning and sometimes complicated tax codes that govern giving. She’s fielding lots of questions, for example, from alumni and faculty who want to know the tax benefits of a planned gift, and how they can make an impact without giving up their current financial security.

At a recent breakfast for retired physicians, she said, many wanted to know how to structure their estate to avoid probate, how charitable gifts from retirement assets could reduce their tax liability in the year of death, or how to eliminate estate taxes so that family members won’t be left with that burden.

Those who have benefited from Hutto’s guidance include retired UMMC professor and physician Dr. Ed Draper of Jackson, whose gifts to the Medical Center include a fund that supports a lectureship in the Department of Psychiatry and honors top psychiatry residents.

Hutto “gave a magnificent presentation to a retired doctors’ breakfast club meeting that I attended. She had the old profs like me spellbound by what she had to say,” said Draper, who for 20 years served as chair of the Department of Psychiatry, bringing it from three to 33 faculty members and from three residents to 22.

“She’s been very responsive to questions I’ve had, and has laid out before me the things that are important,” Draper said. “What they’re (UMMC) doing with the program, and with her, is a major service to Medical Center people across the board.”

Giving trends also include the donation of stock, Hutto said. “Stock transfers are a way to save on capital gains. We’ve had a lot of stock transfers lately, and people also have named us as a beneficiary on their retirement assets to save on taxes.”

The Office of Development also is receiving gifts of paid-up whole life insurance policies, Hutto said. “Some of those policies were bought when the donors were in medical school,” she said.

Many potential donors aren’t aware of what’s called a contingency gift. Such a donation is contingent on events that transpire before the donor’s death.

For example, Hutto said, a Vicksburg resident who had never set foot on the UMMC campus recently donated her home and estate, contingent on her relatives having passed away before her own death. The woman’s estate is indeed benefiting UMMC, Hutto said.

To discuss your ideas for a creative gift, or for more information, contact Hutto at 601-984-2306 or email her at nhutto@umc.edu.

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