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Dirk Brown Supports the Carlos Museum in His Estate Plans

Dirk BrownIn elementary school, Dirk Brown 90MBA loved D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths. The stories of gods, heroes, and monsters were irresistible, and they began for him a lifelong relationship with art history. Today he is on the board of Emory's Michael C. Carlos Museum and has included the museum in his estate plans. His gift will provide unrestricted funding to support the greatest priorities in the future.

"I don't know what the museum will need when my planned gift is realized, so I decided to make it unrestricted. I want the staff to use it to meet the needs of the museum at that point in time. They will know what's best," he says.

Brown majored in classics in college and expected to become a professor. During an internship at a small museum in Savannah, he discovered that the preferred qualifications for the vacant director's position included an MBA. He enrolled in Emory's Goizueta Business School, fell in love with technology, and today is vice president of product management for an Atlanta software company.

He first encountered the Carlos Museum after answering an ad in the volunteer section of Creative Loafing when he was 25. The museum was seeking docents, and he joined the group. "The museum was tiny then. It was like a little jewel box with these incredible pieces in it," he remembers.

Brown served as a docent for nearly 10 years and has maintained his close relationship with the Carlos by making annual gifts, co-chairing the board, and helping plan Bacchanal, one of the museum's past fundraising events.

"I love the collections and the variety of the objects, but what is most incredible is the way the Carlos applies these collections in the best educational programs," he says. "The museum brings to life why these objects are important, what they tell us about who we are, and what lessons can we learn from them."

Estate gifts like Brown's can enable donors to make significant gifts without diminishing needed income, and some even provide financial benefits. To learn more, call 404.727.8875 to speak with someone in Emory's Office of Gift Planning.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Emory University 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

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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.

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The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

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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 Emory as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

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