Personal Giving Stories


Lifetime Gift Helps Daughter Now AND Saves Taxes

Photo of Bob Henderson.
In 2004 Bob Henderson established an estate plan with the help of his attorney and the U of I Foundation’s Office of Gift Planning (OGP). His primary objective was to provide financial security for his disabled daughter, who suffers from epilepsy. Recently, however, he decided to go ahead and fund the plan now, while living.

In the interview that follows, we learn more about his plan and why he decided to accelerate it.

OGP: Tell us briefly how your plan was originally set up to work.

Bob: Originally, when I die, all of my financial investments and my home would go to the Foundation for a charitable remainder trust (CRT) that would then provide income to my disabled daughter for the rest of her life.

OGP: Was your daughter going to receive the income directly?

Bob: No. Since she’s disabled, we set up a special needs trust for her and the income from the CRT goes to it. My son is the trustee of her special needs trust.

OGP: Who is the trustee of the CRT?

Bob: The U of I Foundation is. That made the plan easy to establish. If I had to hire a bank or other institution to be the trustee, it would be much more complicated and expensive.

OGP: Can you explain why you decided to establish the CRT now, instead of letting the original plan play out at your death?

Bob: Well, first of all I’m no longer in my home, so donating it now means I don’t have to worry about it anymore. I also have more income than I could ever spend, and at 91 it just wasn’t necessary to hold onto the stocks and bonds. And then most important, I suppose, is the fact that the income is really helpful to my daughter now.

OGP: So you don’t worry about not having your big nest egg anymore?

Bob: Well, no … I mean my life is pretty simple these days, and my pensions and social security are more than sufficient for my financial security. You know I didn’t mention this earlier, but the big income-tax savings I’ll get because I did it now was also a motivating factor. If I waited till I die, there was no tax savings because my estate isn’t big enough to be taxed. Since I did it now, though, I might not have to pay income tax for the rest of my life!

OGP: Thanks for your exceptional support and for talking to us about it, Dr. Henderson.

Robert A. Henderson spent more than 40 years on the faculty of the special education department and helped to build it into one of the most highly regarded programs of its kind anywhere. After his daughter’s lifetime, the remainder in the CRT will be used to establish the Robert A. and June C. Henderson Fund. This fund will endow the Henderson Professorship in Special Education, which will be a permanent extension of Prof. Henderson’s contributions to the excellence of that program.


The U of I Foundation gift planning staff is pleased to answer your questions and offer assistance at any time. Please contact the Foundation to learn more.



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