Creating a Legacy with Planned Giving

Margie and Steve Wilkinson

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Neither Margie nor Steve Wilkinson grasped what the performing arts meant to their mothers when both women were alive.

“Both of our mothers were secretly fans of the arts in different ways,” Margie says.

Steve still remembers his mother’s reaction when the Las Vegas couple took her to “Phantom of the Opera” in New York City in the early ‘90s.

“She cried through the whole production,” he says, adding that he learned only after she died that she had given up a scholarship to study singing and acting in the ‘30s to marry his father.

Likewise, Margie’s own mother never spoke of loving the arts, but became passionate about attending arts festivals in California.

When the Wilkinsons learned about their mothers’ enthusiasm after both women passed away, they wanted to ensure their inheritance money supported the arts.

“We wanted some way to really honor them and keep something they had been involved in going,” Margie says.

They found their answer in a planned giving donation to The Smith Center.

Some might not be aware of options to support The Smith Center though planned giving, which involves giving to a charitable organization in a way that takes more planning than a cash donation.

In Steve and Margie’s case, they created a revocable trust, under which the money they inherited from their mothers will be donated to The Smith Center when the couple passes away.

“Both of our mothers would have had a niche here,” Margie says. “This is a way to ensure their money will go toward something that will be ongoing.”

There are other forms of planned giving, as well.

These can include listing The Smith Center as a beneficiary on a life insurance policy, or including The Smith Center in a will, leaving a legacy that will impact many arts lovers.

Supporters can even set up a charitable trust that provides a form of income for both the donor and The Smith Center.

“You know you’ll be a part of making sure The Smith Center occupies the place it does within the community,” Steve says of his and Margie’s decision. “It’s a great feeling to know you’re contributing to the future even when you’re long gone.”

Some choose planned giving options for financial benefits, such as tax advantages. Planned giving options can also be tailored to each individual’s financial needs.

In addition, those who make planned gifts to The Smith Center gain membership to The Encore Society. These Members receive exclusive benefits and even special behind-the-scenes access at The Smith Center.

Setting up their revocable trust was simple, the Wilkinsons say.

With this in place, they will continue enjoying the arts as a major component of their lives.

“It’s a good feeling to have a facility like The Smith Center and have the chance to make sure it continues,” Steve says. “We want to make sure it grows.”

If you are interested in joining The Encore Society with a planned gift or have questions about making a planned gift, contact The Encore Society at 702-749-2354 or and seek the advice of your financial or legal advisor.

If you include The Smith Center in your plans, please use our legal name and federal tax ID.
Legal Name: The Smith Center for The Performing Arts
Address: 361 Symphony Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89106
Federal Tax ID Number: 88-0361875


A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to The Smith Center 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 The Smith Center, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 361 Symphony Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89106, 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 The Smith Center 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 The Smith Center 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 The Smith Center 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 The Smith Center where you agree to make a gift to The Smith Center 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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