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Emory Brain Health Expertise Motivates Gift From Margaret Hylton Jones 69C

Margaret Hylton Jones

Margaret Hylton Jones 69C supports Emory's leadership in brain health.

Over her lifetime of caring for loved ones with brain illnesses, Margaret Hylton Jones 69C has turned to her alma mater for help. For every medical need and her role as a caregiver, Emory University and Emory Healthcare delivered critical resources.

Gratitude inspired her estate gift to the Emory Brain Health Center for research that helps patients live longer and better, and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health for serving these patients as well as people coping with unrelenting stress, like their caregivers.

"I come from a family of givers, and I wanted to do something to help enhance the quality of life for those who deal with brain disease and disability," she says. "I feel the best use of my resources is to help others not experience the life I have had. Not that I'm bitter; in a lot of ways, it's been a gift to take care of people I love."

Jones's estate gift will provide unrestricted funds for research, teaching, and patient care by Emory experts in neurosurgery, psychiatry, and related brain health areas. These resources became important to her shortly after she arrived on campus in the mid-1960s from her hometown of Nashville.

"I knew my life was not like other people's, and I went straight to the student psychological counseling office, where I ended up talking to a psychiatry resident at Emory," she recalls. "Most of my adult life, I have had some counseling or therapy even though it was frowned upon in my family. To do what I needed to do, I needed support."

Since age 9, her life and opportunities have been defined by brain diseases. Her father, an engineer, became disabled after surgery to remove a grapefruit-sized benign brain tumor. Her mother's alcoholism meant Jones became a caretaker for her younger sister.

"It's hard to understand how overwhelming caregiving can be and how it completely changes the dynamic of the nuclear and extended families," she says. "Every time the phone would ring, I wondered, 'What happened now?' You are always on the clock, and every day can bring a crisis."

At Emory, Jones majored in English and worked in publications at Emory as a student and after graduation. She deepened her Emory connections by pursuing a master's degree in Southern studies and chairing her class reunions. She married director of publications Virgil Hartley 54C.

Jones always made her home close to campus, and after both of her grandmothers had strokes, one came to live with her and Hartley. At the grandmother's funeral, Hartley had a stroke.

Jones was 30, and spent the next 15 years caring for him before his death.

"There were so many people that I spent time helping care for that I couldn't make time for myself much until recent years," Jones says. "I understood from experience that caregiving becomes even harder when the person develops psychiatric problems, and I stayed involved with the Friends of Psychiatry group at Emory so I know what they are researching and working toward. You could say that my planned gift was a no brainer!"

Her Emory connections grew in value over the years as she balanced caregiving with work in local politics.

"When my husband had a stroke, I had the backup of the whole Emory medical community and I took that very seriously," she says. "We had personal relationships with them and great insurance from Emory that kept me from panicking. After my family members died, I have had several close friends who also suffered strokes and brain tumors, and all were treated at Emory. I am trying very much to retire from caregiving, but it's been my life, and it brought out empathy and appreciation that inspired my planned gift."

Making your legacy gift to Emory is easier than you think. Contact Emory Office of Gift Planning at 404.727.8875 or giftplanning@emory.edu. For online resources, go to giftplanning.emory.edu.

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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

"I give to Emory University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Atlanta, GA, 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 Emory 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 Emory 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 Emory 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 Emory where you agree to make a gift to Emory 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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