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Isabel Villar

Isabel Villar

Isabel Villar outside of El Centro Hispano, where she is the Founding Executive Director.

Life has been good to me. But I’m also aware of how fragile it can be.

When I was a teenager, my family and I moved from Cuba to the United States, guided by a dream for a better life. I quickly became involved in my community and later dedicated my career to helping the growing number of Hispanic families in White Plains, New York.

A Life-Changing Diagnosis

In 2008, I found out how difficult, yet critical, it is to place your trust in another’s hands. I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer during a routine exam, and my life changed in an instant.

A friend helped me find the best care possible by recommending the renowned medical oncologists of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). I was inspired by the physicians, nurses, and other knowledgeable experts on my MSK team from the first moment I connected with them—and found that I did not have to fight cancer alone.

The Importance of Community

As I reflected on the many challenges I faced during treatment, I realized I had an opportunity to continue helping others. Through El Centro Hispano, Inc., the Hispanic community center where I serve as Founding Executive Director, I began counseling others faced with cancer diagnoses. My goal for El Centro Hispano is to be there for the community in the same way that MSK was there for me: to offer guidance, support, and resources when the path forward is unclear.

Sharing Her Gratitude

I included MSK in my will to show my appreciation for the care I received. This is one way to ensure that MSK experts can forge ahead with cutting-edge discoveries and lifesaving treatments.

I have so much to be grateful for today. Because of MSK I am able to pursue my passion: helping my community to help themselves. I encourage you to join with me and make a future gift to MSK so that others can also live life to its fullest. We have to act quickly; we don’t have time to waste.

Join Isabel in Making a Difference

Just like Isabel, you can help people in your community facing cancer by remembering MSK in your will or other estate plans. Contact us at 800-688-1827 or plannedgiving@mskcc.org to learn more.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center 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 bequeath to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, a New York nonprofit corporation having a principal place of business at 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065, Federal Tax ID #13-1924236, ____percent of my total estate (or $_____, or other property) to be used or disposed of as Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in its sole discretion deems appropriate.

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 MSK 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 MSK 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 MSK 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 MSK where you agree to make a gift to MSK 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.

A tax imposed at one's death on the transfer of most types of property. Currently federal estate taxes are assessed in 2022 on estates worth more than $11.2 million. The maximum estate tax rate is 40 percent. Some states also impose taxes at death that vary depending on state law.

A written legal instrument created by a grantor for the benefit of him/herself (during life) or others (during life or at death).

A revocable trust established by a grantor during his or her lifetime in which the grantor transfers some or all of his or her property into the trust.

Equity or debt instruments, typically shares listed on a stock exchange, which can be readily bought or sold.