The Kennedy Legacy

Larry and Suzy Hager KennedyLarry '52 and Suzy Hager Kennedy '53 became members of the Cretin-Derham Hall Legacy Society when they included CDH in their estate planning. The couple explained their motivations for the gift and how the estate planning process worked for them. To learn more about estate planning, contact Rob Bollinger at (651) 696-3343 or

Q. What prompted you to include Cretin-Derham in your estate planning?

A. Suzy: Four years of learning, maturing, and the making of life-long friends. Loving memories of teachers-the Sisters of St. Joseph-who cared about you. Having received so much from Derham Hall, there is a desire to give back to help future students.

A. Larry: The Christian Brothers taught us course subjects well, and how to learn, and disciplined us well, in and out of the classroom. They greatly helped us transition in four years from young boys to young men with instilled values and an appreciation of the Brothers that still is vibrant. While they and the Sisters are few in number in the classrooms today, I believe the LaSallian philosophy and tradition lives on in the administration and faculty at Cretin-Derham Hall so it can be instilled in the student body today. Just as in our day 50+ years ago, the school continues to educate students of diverse abilities, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. As in the days of my youth, the Cretin Rouser sums it up best: "the greatest school in all the land" ... "the friendships we've made will live forever in our memory". I'm happy to say that the friendships we've made continue to this day. And so, for all these reasons and more, Suzy and I moved to include CDH in our recently revised estate planning, giving back a little to the school from which we gained much and hoping the tradition lives on for future generations of students. Our thoughts and aspirations were reaffirmed by the letter A Thankful Farewell from Tim Kenney '05 that appeared in the Spring 2006 Traditions, p. 18. (Recommended reading for all alumni/alumnae!)

Q. How would you characterize the estate planning process?

A. Suzy: Ask my husband; he did all the work.

A. Larry: The process is relatively quick and easy. You have to do some planning ahead as to what your goals are and have an accounting of what you own and what you owe.

We worked with an attorney well known to us and with whom we had previous experience in such matters. The expense was relatively moderate; having the peace of mind that your "affairs are in order" and up-to-date at this stage of your life is worth it. We are in the 4th quarter of our lives and hoping for overtime!

Q. What is your advice to others who may be thinking about estate planning?

A. Suzy: Remember your high school experience and share with CDH so others may benefit from an education founded on Catholic values and strong academic teaching.

A. Larry: Do it! Talk over and align goals. Take inventory of assets and project what may be available for distribution. We have five mature children, fully emancipated. In our planning, we decided on a "sixth share" for charitable purposes and CDH is named as an immediate cash/capital bequest out of it. And, in order to continue our habit of annual gifts while we are living, CDH will be urged as an annual recipient from the Donor Advised Fund with the Catholic Community Foundation, after we are gone.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Cretin-Derham Hall 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/We accept the pleasure of membership in the Cretin-Derham Hall Legacy Society through the following planned gift commitment to benefit students at Cretin-Derham Hall. [Indicate gift specifics.]"

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 Cretin-Derham Hall 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 Cretin-Derham Hall 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 Cretin-Derham Hall 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 Cretin-Derham Hall where you agree to make a gift to Cretin-Derham Hall 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.

The Brothers of the Christian Schools (also known as Christian Brothers) is a Roman Catholic religious teaching congregation founded in France by St. John Baptist de La Salle. The Brothers opened Cretin High School in 1871 and continue to sponsor and serve to this day.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet is a congregation of women religious. Together, with their consociates, the Sisters are committed to continuing the mission of Jesus in the world by responding to the needs of our time. The Sisters opened Derham Hall in 1905 and are co-sponsors of CDH today.

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