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Planned Giving Q&A

​Q:  I am helping my mother put her final wishes in writing. She would like to have her memorials given to Marshfield Clinic. Can she specify a specific use of the memorials?

Karen L. Piel Karen L. Piel, JD, CPA, CFRE
Charitable Gift Planning Officer
Marshfield Clinic Development

A: Please thank your mother for her interest in supporting the mission of Marshfield Clinic in this special way. Thank you, as well, for your question as it allows me to address the process for directing memorials to Marshfield Clinic.

Most of the memorials we receive are directed to a specific fund or purpose. However, on occasion memorials are directed for a specific purpose or use that we cannot fulfill, so it is best to have a conversation about your mother's specific wishes. This is especially true if you are still in the planning phase and have the benefit of time.

For purposes of printing the memorials in an obituary or other announcement, please direct the memorials to Marshfield Clinic, and then state the specific purpose, such as "Memorials may be directed to Marshfield Clinic for cancer research." Additional information can be found at

When memorials arrive in our office without a specific designation, our practice is to contact the family to determine where the gifts are to be directed. We will send a letter to all memorial donors (which they may retain for tax reporting purposes) indicating the fund that has been designated by the family (or the fund selected by the donor if they selected a different use).  We advise the family of the memorials received, though we only disclose the total dollars received rather than the amount contributed by each donor.

All memorials are listed in this publication (pages 18-19 of this issue). When the total of the memorials received is $1,000 or more, the name of the person being remembered will also be listed on our Tribute wall in the main lobby of Marshfield Clinic Marshfield Center. Many individuals are remembered on a regular basis by family, friends and other loved ones, so the listings on the tribute wall will be updated regularly.

If you are over age 70 ½, consider making a charitable gifts from your IRA.  Talk with your tax or financial advisor about the tax benefits of gifting from your IRA in 2013 or visit Legacy Planning for more information.

For additional information
on making a planned gift to
Marshfield Clinic, please contact:

Karen Piel, J.D., C.P.A., CFRE
Gift Planning Officer