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Lost Kitten Inspires Couple to Help Others Find Loving Homes

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Ken and Pat Peterson have named HSSV as a beneficiary of their charitable trusts as a way to create a greater impact for homeless animals in their community.

Ken and Pat Peterson have named HSSV as a beneficiary of their charitable trusts as a way to create a greater impact for homeless animals in their community.

A relationship with the organization that spans 40 years, and a passion for the work Humane Society Silicon Valley does to support community cats inspired Pat and Ken Peterson to remember HSSV in their charitable remainder trusts. Having established each of their three children as the primary beneficiary of individual CRTs, the Petersons have enabled remaining trust assets to be gifted to HSSV.

The theme of caring for animals, specifically those with nowhere else to turn, runs consistently throughout the story of Pat and Ken Peterson's marriage. Ken came into the 1988 union with Sheba, a beloved Border Terrier he had adopted from HSSV in 1977. Little did Sheba know, she and her newlywed parents would soon become the neighborhood cat whisperers.

It all started in Los Gatos, in 1991, when Pat and Ken's son, Andy found a lost, lonely kitten in the backyard. He snuck the little brown tortie that he dubbed M&M into his bedroom, and secretly fed her with an eyedropper. When mom and dad discovered the kitten that weekend, she was already part of the family. A visit to the vet confirmed that both M&M's front paws were dislocated, likely from birth. The little girl spent her kittenhood in leg braces, and eventually made a full recovery. Imprinting on the dog, Sheba, M&M even learned to run to the door to greet her family, tail wagging.

After M&M came a whole lineup of neighborhood stray kitties that the family methodically spayed/neutered, nursed to health, and placed in loving homes with friends, family, and colleagues. Their commitment to cats in need is so strong that with the passing of Pat's cousin who cared for a feral colony in Arkansas, the Petersons took the time to find loving, local homes for each of the 26 cats.

Of course, you can't be the Florence Nightingale of the feline community without falling in love with a few more yourself. That's how, over the years, Rambo, Charcoal, Ashes, Peanut, Rambo II, Ashes II, Charcoal Bear, Calvin and Hobbes, and Pike joined the family.

Pike, born in the early 2000s, became the couple's heart animal. Named for the species of fish that drives others away from the food source, Pike was famous for hissing his pals away from the food bowl. He was alpha kitty and loved being king of the house.

The three charitable remainder trust gifts through which the Petersons have remembered Humane Society Silicon Valley will honor the memory of their beloved Pike and their lifelong passion for and commitment to helping animals in need. In particular, this meaningful gift will help ensure free spay/neuter and support services for the members of our community who care for feline colonies, as Pat and Ken have done for so many years.

Create a Legacy of Love for Animals
By planning a gift to support HSSV's future work, you can make a lasting impact for homeless animals in our community. Contact the Office of Planned Giving at 408.262.2133, Ext. 198 or legacygiving@hssv.org to discuss how you can help save lives for years to come.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Humane Society Silicon Valley 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

Bequest Language

"I, [name], of [city, state ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to the HUMANE SOCIETY SILICON VALLEY [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 HSSV 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 HSSV 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 HSSV 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 HSSV where you agree to make a gift to HSSV 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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