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Office of Trusts, Estates, and Gift Planning
Cornell University
130 E Seneca Street, Suite 400
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 1-800-481-1865
Fax: 607-254-1204


This Family Plan Involves Trusts with Cornell

donor_16.pngDr. Irving Wiswall ’48, DVM ’54 is giving his children’s inheritance away.

Irving, 84, was going to pass along his assets in the traditional manner when he realized that his three children, all in their fifties, could use the money now rather than after he’s gone. He set up three charitable remainder trusts that will provide Mary Lynn, Irving Jr., and Mark with income for life, with the remaining trust assets benefiting Cornell.

By funding the trusts with appreciated stock, Irving received charitable income-tax deductions, avoided substantial capital-gain tax, and created federal and estate gift-tax savings for his heirs. Irving first created a charitable remainder trust with Cornell in 1993 to benefit himself and his wife, Vilma.

The trusts are “a sort of insurance policy. No matter what happens, my children will always have income,” Irving said. “Two of my children are Cornell graduates and highly supportive of the school. We’ve decided that if I want to make more gifts to Cornell and provide them with more income, I can simply add any new gifts to the existing trusts.”

Irving grew up on a farm near Saratoga and served in the Marines during World War II. While attending the College of Veterinary Medicine, he supported his young family by delivering 400 quarts of milk every day. “I never missed an 8 o’clock class,” he said proudly.

During 30 years as a veterinarian, Irving worked at a Florida harness-racing track in the winters and a Finger Lakes thoroughbred track in the summers. Even today he keeps horses at one of his Nicaraguan homes, high on the rim of an extinct volcano.

“I owe my success in life to Cornell,” Irving said. “Others who feel the same should consider sharing their success through a charitable remainder trust. You get a nice return, and it’s nice to help Cornell, which gave us so much.”