Alitz Tucholko: A Gift From the Heart

Alitz Tucholko smiling When one first meets Alitz Tucholko two things strike you: her charming accent and her warm, inviting manner. Alitz's warm personality matches her warm heart and the compassion she feels for all living things. As a little girl growing up in Istanbul, Alitz was always rescuing kittens, dogs, rabbits—any creature she saw that needed help—bringing them home to care for them and find them a good home.

Alitz grew up in a cosmopolitan environment and she speaks not only her native tongue, but also French, Greek and, of course, English. Alitz's maternal grandfather owned a business that he moved to France, so her mother grew up speaking only French. Alitz's father also lived in France and had been educated at the Sorbonne; therefore, Alitz speaks and reads French fluently. She often stops what she is doing to speak in French and English to Brandy, her beloved 14-year-old poodle, which she adopted from the Humane Society of Missouri. Alitz says Brandy understands her in both languages.

Her late husband, Walter, was born in Poland and had been a World War II squadron commander fighting for the United States. He was sent on many secret missions—of which Alitz still will not reveal to this day. They met during the war, and after the war ended,Walter received an invitation to live in the United States where he was a cartographer working with the former Defense Mapping Agency. He, too, was fluent in several languages: Russian, French, German, Polish, as well as English, so his skills were much needed during and after the war. Alitz and Walter also shared a deep love for animals.

After Walter sent for Alitz, they were married in St. Louis and settled into a comfortable, happy life on the south side. She taught French in a Catholic grade school and later became a seamstress for an upscale dress shop, where she worked for 20 years.

Alitz has been a loyal donor to the Humane Society of Missouri for more than 30 years and has generously remembered the Humane Society in her estate plans. Alitz decided she wanted to do more during her lifetime and made the decision to make a planned gift with the Humane Society. She says she cannot express how happy it has made her to be able to establish a gift like this during her lifetime.

Alitz's perspective on animal welfare stems from her deeply spiritual convictions. "I believe mankind is being tested to see how we treat the animals—and I am afraid we are not doing so well by them," she says.

For her, philanthropy is very personal and she says she does not do it for acclaim. "Everything I do for the animals is from the heart," she says. Alitz Tucholko is truly someone who does everything from the heart. Thank you, Alitz!

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the Humane Society of Missouri 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 the Humane Society of Missouri, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 1201 Macklind Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, 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 HSMO 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 HSMO 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 HSMO 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 HSMO where you agree to make a gift to HSMO 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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