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March/April 2002

Why should you have a will?

Are you among the approximately fifty percent of Americans that do not have a will?

Do you feel that you don't have sufficient assets to justify having a will, that only the very rich need to plan their estates? Do you think your property will be distributed by law generally in accordance with your wishes?

If you have possessions, you have an estate. And how you plan for its disposition after your lifetime can ensure that your personal and family objectives are met after death following your wishes.

It is not only the very rich that need a will. On the contrary, those who are not wealthy are often those whose families have the most to lose by the absence of a will. Some might think that some arrangement or some law will solve their estate planning problems. For example, they mistakenly assume that joint ownership will take care of matters. But not all property (such as retirement benefits and employee benefits) is jointly owned.

Sometimes people think that state law will see that those to whom they desire to leave their estate will receive it in the proper proportions. The laws of most states provide that the estate must be split between the children and the surviving spouse, which may not be appropriate in some cases, and those laws do not provide for any distributions to favorite organizations you may wish to support with a gift from your estate.

An estate plan can help you care for your family and reduce your estate tax. It is an important way to express your lasting values and ensure that your wishes are honored.

Through your estate plan, you can decrease the amount of estate taxes and increase the overall amount of support to your family by including gifts to organizations that have been important to you in your lifetime. Your estate receives charitable deductions for the full value of your gifts to organizations like the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation. There may be no better way to influence the future of an organization than through a charitable gift. Charitable bequests can be tailored to meet your specific personal and financial goals.

Regardless of your age or your financial circumstances, don't procrastinate planning for the distribution of your estate. Visiting with an estate planning specialist (your attorney, accountant or trust officer) is a great place to begin, or contact our office for additional information, 888-515-3535.

Planning your estate is an opportunity to plan how you can benefit your family, friends, and charitable organizations in a creative manner after your lifetime.

NSHS Foundation plans annual meeting April 20 in Kearney

Kearney will be the site for the Foundation's annual meeting Saturday, April 20, 2002. Trustees will elect officers and new trustees during a luncheon meeting at the Holiday Inn.

The guest speaker will be Norman Geske, emeritus director of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery. He will discuss the history and development of art museums in Nebraska and some of Nebraska's most significant artists. This year's topic was selected because our meeting coincides with the art sale and auction sponsored by the Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA). MONA's activities will begin Friday evening, April 19, and run throughout the weekend. Our luncheon meeting is included in the activities for Saturday so you can do it all!

For more information about the Foundation's annual meeting or MONA's art sale and auction, call 402-435-3535.

NSHS Foundation supports new permanent exhibit

More than $40,000 in grants has been provided to the NSHS to assist with the new permanent exhibit being created at the Museum of Nebraska History. The exhibit, Building the State, opened March 1, 2002. It focuses on the development of Nebraska from statehood in 1867 to the eve of World War I.

The Foundation provided a general grant of $30,000 to assist with the development of the overall exhibit. An additional grant of $10,000 from the Johnson Fund administered by the Foundation was provided to support the fine art that will be on display. Other funds administered by the Foundation were used to acquire artifacts and other materials needed to construct the new exhibit.

Dr. Charles Godwin creates annuity with Foundation to support the Historical Society

During his tenure as a professor of education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Dr. Charles Godwin shared his love of Nebraska history with his education students. He encouraged his students to develop lesson plans infused with Nebraska history, and he showed them firsthand how to do just that.

As a part of his coursework, he always included a trip to the Museum of Nebraska History. He felt it was important to expose his students to the many resources available through the Nebraska State Historical Society that could assist them in developing their own lesson plans.

During Dr. Godwin's frequent visits to the museum, he became acquainted with the staff and the organization. As he became more involved with the Society, he discovered how important private funding was to the Society's ability to enhance one's understanding and appreciation of Nebraska's history.

Dr. Godwin established an annuity with the NSHS Foundation to provide long-term support for the activities of the Society. In addition to the satisfaction of supporting the work of the Society, Dr. Godwin enjoys knowing that the gift has been made, and he appreciates the attractive, guaranteed payout rate.

"Organizations with such valuable educational resources like the Society need funds for programs and opportunities to make it possible to expand and to make those resources available," Dr. Godwin commented. "State funding alone is not adequate to do so."

The Nebraska State Historical Society and the Foundation are truly grateful to Dr. Godwin for making a gift to ensure the enduring excellence of its programs.

More Information
A gift annuity is just one way to make a significant gift to support the Nebraska State Historical Society. Trusts, wills, life insurance policies, and deferred employee benefits such as pension or profit sharing benefits or 401(k) plans can all be used to leave a legacy that will honor your values, your community, and your priorities.

Douglas Theater Company sponsors film series at Museum of Nebraska History

The Douglas Theatre Company is sponsoring the Society's fourteenth annual film series entitled Breaking New Ground: The Settlement of the American West in Film, which began January 20, 2002, with The Magnificent Ambersons (1942). This Orson Welles masterpiece bemoans the passing of a graceful way of life for the progress of the early twentieth century. The films continue for seven weeks and are shown in the Blackman Auditorium in the Museum of Nebraska History.

Our thanks to the Douglas Theatre Company for its gift to the Foundation, making this program possible.

Foundation Board of Directors

James W. Hewitt, Lincoln, President
Allison D. Petersen, Walton, Executive Vice President
Joanne F. Shephard, Valentine, Secretary
Robert D. Northrop, Lincoln, Treasurer
Jack D. Campbell, Lincoln
Thomas Creigh, Jr., Hastings
Sharon D. Davis, Omaha
Martha A. Greer, Lincoln
Diane N. "Diny" Landen, Omaha
Dr. Frederick C. Luebke, Lincoln
Lu Marcotte, Nebraska City
Dr. Martin A. Massengale, Lincoln
John D. Massey, Scottsbluff
George H. Moyer, Jr., Madison
James F. Nissen, Lincoln
Cynthia Olson, Lisco
Amy Scott-Willer, Omaha
John W. Webster, Omaha
S. N. "Bud" Wolbach, Grand Island
Dr. John Wunder, Lincoln

Dorothy G. Hevelone, Beatrice, Director Emeritus

Lawrence J. Sommer, Lincoln, NSHS Director, Ex-officio
Keith Blackledge, North Platte, NSHS President, Ex-officio
Jim McKee, Lincoln, NSHS Treasurer, Ex-officio

For More Information Contact:

Jackie Spahn, Executive Director
Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation
408 Lincoln Center Building
215 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, NE 68508-1813

Ph: 402-435-3535
Fax: 402-435-3986

November/December 2001 Issue

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Last updated 11 April 2002

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