A Legacy to Support an 'Unbelievable Resource'
By Candace Pearson
Christina and George Legg honor their nephew’s care and establish a substantial estate gift for CHLA.
Even after 23 years, Christina and George Legg can still recall in vivid detail the anxious hours they spent in a waiting room at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles—“like so many families experience,” Christina says—while their 1-year-old nephew, Matthew, underwent surgery for a brain tumor.
The year was 1996. The toddler survived that first surgery and another one six years later, plus several rounds of chemotherapy. “The doctors designed a regimen that saved his life,” says George.
Today, Matthew, who is visually impaired, is a smart, busy 24-year-old. He volunteers for various nonprofit organizations and is a passionate Los Angeles Dodgers fan. “He is very opinionated about the team’s management,” George says with a laugh.
The Leggs started donating blood to the CHLA Blood Donor Center at the time of Matthew’s first surgery, but after the initial crisis had passed, they wanted to give back in another way. Over the years, they routinely contributed annual gifts to CHLA, often coinciding them with a matching campaign to increase their value.
"We feel good about being able to support such a wonderful place."
— Christina Legg
When Christina’s mother passed away with no estate planning in place, the couple began considering what they wanted their own legacy to be. They wrote down the organizations they believe have value—“and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles was No. 1 on the list,” says George.
The result: The Leggs have designated a substantial estate gift to CHLA, which the hospital will be able to apply to its highest priority needs. “We feel good about being able to support such a wonderful place,” says Christina.
The couple have always been thoughtful about looking ahead. They both worked in management at Northrop Grumman Corp. and participated in the company’s employee savings plan. Christina, who started at the aerospace and defense technology giant in 1968, remembers being advised early in her 36-year career to maximize the company’s match of her contributions. That kind of prudent investment enabled the Leggs to make a generous planned gift to CHLA.
They both traveled a great deal for work. Now retired, they are “content to be homebodies,” George says, and explore the best Los Angeles has to offer, including concerts, museums and cultural events.
To the couple, that “best” includes one of the top pediatric hospitals in the nation. The Leggs recently toured CHLA with Matthew and his mother, Dana. They were impressed with the Marion and John E. Anderson Pavilion, which opened in 2011—“and even more impressed with the people who work in it,” says George. “Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is such an unbelievable resource for Southern California.”
For Christina, the hospital’s research into novel treatments for cancer and other conditions is inspiring. “I am so pleased our gift will help these kinds of investigations continue,” she says, “so someday what Matthew went through won’t have to happen again.”
WAYS TO GIVE: Will or Living Trust
Like Christina and George Legg, many donors have found great satisfaction in helping ensure the health and well-being of future generations by including Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in their will or living trust. Here are some easy ways to create a legacy that will help CHLA continue to provide the highest-quality pediatric care:
- Create a bequest in your will or living trust of a fixed dollar amount or a percentage of your estate. You can also name the hospital to receive the residue of your estate after all other specific bequests to family members and friends have been made. If your plans are already made, your attorney can draft a codicil to your will or an amendment to your living trust that states your intentions for CHLA.
- Your bequest can be unrestricted and go toward the hospital’s greatest needs, or be directed to a program of your choice. You may also create a permanent endowment in your name or that of a loved one.
- You can create a separate trust through your will or living trust that will pay income to an individual for life, with the remaining principal to be given to CHLA thereafter.
- You are encouraged to consult with your personal tax, financial and/or legal advisers to consider how best to help the children served by CHLA. At your request, we are happy to provide a roster of qualified professional advisers who are known to CHLA.
If you are planning to make Children’s Hospital Los Angeles one of your beneficiaries, we encourage you to let us know. If you have already made provisions for CHLA in your will or living trust, you are invited to join the Emma Phillips Society, which honors those who have made CHLA a part of their estate plans. Members are recognized on the donor wall in the hospital’s main lobby and in the annual recognition issue of Imagine magazine, and are invited to special events held throughout the year.
To discuss including CHLA in your estate plans, please contact:
Associate Senior Vice President of Development
Vice President of Development
Associate Vice President of Development
You can also call the CHLA Gift Planning Office at 323-361-1807 or visit CHLA.org/PlannedGiving for more information.