In 2003, Carolyn and Chuck Furfine, PhD, retired from successful careers in the Washington, D.C., area—he was a biochemist for the Federal Drug Administration and she worked in management at IBM—and returned to their hometown, St. Louis.
By that time, their two sons had established their careers and were doing well, so Carolyn and Chuck decided to designate part of their living trust to benefit the charitable organizations most important to them.
The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital was at the top of their list because of the excellent medical care they received at the hospital.
"I felt we were so lucky to be cared for by doctors who are very bright, at a hospital ranked as one of the top in the country," Carolyn says. "Most any problem you have can be addressed at the hospital, and we wanted to give back."
The Furfines wanted their living trust to benefit medical issues that don't always receive a lot of attention or funding. So, they designated their gift to the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Support Fund, which allows the hospital to direct support to critical areas of need to benefit the health of the St. Louis community.
The couple appreciated the flexibility and ease with which they could update their living trust. This financial arrangement allowed them to make a substantial gift after their lifetimes without affecting their quality of life now.
"Chuck and I have been very fortunate in our lives," Carolyn says. "We wanted to donate a significant amount while we were living but weren't comfortable doing that. However, by using our living trust after we're gone, we can make a difference, and there's also a remembrance of us."