A Gift of Trust

Judy Sonney first connected with City of Hope’s mission several years ago, after her sister was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Though her sister was not treated at City of Hope, Judy started to learn more about the groundbreaking work being done there through friends and neighbors who were connected with City of Hope. “The work they do with research and the clinical trials with many types of cancer and other illnesses give so many patients hope and longer lives. I think that is very, very important. My hope is that those clinical trials will become routine treatments and that patients all over the world will benefit.”

Judy’s support for City of Hope became even more personal when her neighbor became ill. “I’ve lived in my neighborhood for over 40 years and know my neighbors well. One of them is a man in his early 50s, with a wonderful family. He’s an amazing husband and father. I’ve seen them grow as a family for many years and when he became sick with cancer, I was just devastated. But he was treated at City of Hope and now he’s doing very well.”

A friend’s gift of real estate to City of Hope gave her the idea to create her own gift with real estate. Judy liked the idea of supporting City of Hope and at the same time, easing the burden of managing an apartment building.

Judy reached out to Michael Rorman, senior director of Planned Giving, to discuss her gift. “I was thrilled at how helpful he was! In making a gift like this, it’s important to trust the organization you would like to support and the people you’re working with — and I do.”

With Michael and her accountant’s assistance, Judy established a charitable remainder trust, a gift that provides her annual income for life and tax benefits. Judy donated half of her interest in an apartment building to fund a charitable remainder trust and retained the proceeds from the other half. The apartment building was subsequently sold and the proceeds were invested. She received an income tax deduction, avoided paying immediate capital gains taxes on the portion transferred into her charitable remainder trust and more important, will receive an annual payment of 6% of the value of her trust for the rest of her life.

Judy says, “I hadn’t thought about selling my apartment building, but when my friends used their apartment building to fund a charitable remainder trust benefiting City of Hope, it made me think about how I might do the same. I was spending so much time on managing the property and I wanted to make changes in my life. It was necessary for me to be able to replace the income I had been receiving from the apartment building, and I felt strongly that City of Hope would ensure that the proceeds from the sale of the property were invested well.”

Out from under the responsibilities of property management and with the income from her charitable remainder trust, Judy looks forward to traveling more. “It’s making it easy for me to continue to explore the world because I have more freedom from the day to day tasks I was responsible for as a landlord.” She hopes that other supporters will consider a similar gift: “I would tell others that they don’t have to experience the burden of managing property. While I could have engaged a management company, I was still responsible, and it’s a challenging time to be a small landlord. You can receive income and help City of Hope and their patients. It’s that easy.”