Ninety-three-year-old Suzanne Webb has a crystal clear mind and a soft
spot in her heart for doctors and hospitals. Her brother was an ear, nose
and throat specialist at a large regional hospital in her native Quebec.
So when Bill Chang, her financial planner and a member of
Torrance Memorial’s Professional Advisory Committee, recently suggested how she could make a donation to Torrance Memorial
that would also help to secure her own future, she was all ears. He suggested
she consider transferring funds from an upcoming rental property sale to a
charitable remainder trust (CRT). (See definition below.)
“It impressed me that Torrance Memorial is an independent hospital,”
she says. “It’s more difficult for them these days, so I wanted
to do something to help.”
“With some charities, you really don’t know where your money
is going. This way, I know where it’s going and that it will do
some good,” she says.
Webb knows the value of the dollar and is no stranger to making smart money
decisions. While taking courses to prepare for law school, she worked
two jobs—keeping books for the owner of several gas stations in
Los Angeles and practicing real estate in Hollywood.
As she enrolled in Western State University Law School in Orange County,
her day job was working in the travel department of the Consulate General
of Canada, which required her to be fluent in English and French. After
passing the California State Bar, she plunged right into practicing general
practice law with a partner at a small private firm.
She practiced there for the next 20 years, mostly taking on family law
legal aid cases. She then moved her offices to Long Beach and San Pedro,
where she practiced solo for the next 23 years, changing her specialty
to probate and real estate law as well as estate planning.
“I enjoyed my work as an attorney because I could help the middle
class who could not afford to pay legal fees,” she says.
Webb began to invest in real estate at a young age. Her first home purchase
was in the Hollywood Hills near the Hollywoodland (now Hollywood) Sign.
She then continued to buy apartment buildings, homes and condos throughout
Southern California and Hawaii as investment properties.
“I didn’t make that much money practicing family law, so from
that point on it became all about buying real estate and acreage,”
she says. “I bought an apartment house in Burbank and rented it
out to movie studio employees. I later sold that and bought another, and
Webb married later in life. Her first husband, a physician, passed away
at 57. She later married Robert Webb.
With several investments providing incomeand the help of the CRT, Webb
is able to spendher golden years doing what she loves most—traveling
the world. Her first trip as a young girl was crossing the Atlantic on
the Queen Mary just following World War II. Her most recent trek included
stops in Cape Town, South Africa, and Angkor Wat, a temple complex in
Cambodia that is the largest religious monument in the world.
“It feels a lot better to give to a charity than to pay that money
in taxes,” she says. “When your affairs are in order, you
have peace of mind.”
HOW A CHARITABLE REMAINDER TRUST WORKS
With a charitable remainder trust (CRT), you or other named individuals
can receive income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years
from assets you give to the trust you create. Payments can be either variable
or a fixed amount. After the life of the named individuals or the set
period of years, the balance in the trust goes to Torrance Memorial Health
Because the CRT is irrevocable and a charitable gift is the end result,
you receive an income tax deduction in the year you make the gift to the
trust. The payments you receive each year are also partially tax-deductible.
Assets used to fund the CRT may include cash, appreciated stock or real
estate. For highly appreciated assets, establishing a CRT eliminates up-front
capital gains tax and may increase your income to more than the amount
previously generated by the contributed assets.
CHARITABLE REMAINDER TRUST
1. You give cash or property to the trust.
2. You receive an income tax deduction and named individuals receive income
for life or a period of years.
3. Remainder goes to
Torrance Memorial Health Care Foundation after the lifetime of named individuals or a period of years.
Contact Sandy VandenBerge at 310-784-4843 or Sandy.VandenBerge@tmmc.com
with any questions or visit
TorranceMemorial.org/PlannedGiving to learn more.