Years and years ago, a Bucyrus farmer and his wife, John and Myrtle Kinsvater, started an estate for their daughter, Marlys Kinsvater. Although the Kinsvater family was never rich, according to Successor Guardian and Conservator Carol Fordahl, the family was able to put together a “tidy sum” for the benefit of their only child, Marlys Kinsvater.
After the recent passing of Marlys Kinsvater in May, the West River Health Services Foundation became the benefactor of the entire Kinsvater John and Myrtle Kinscater Trust property and received $227,734 to go towards benefiting people in Kinsavaters home region.
Fordahl explained the Kinsvater’s story in the following press release:
John and Myrtle Kinsvater were small farmers north of Bucyrus. The Kinsvaters were not rich by any means, farming a very small plot of land. But they were savers and amassed a tidy sum for the sake of their only child, Marlys.
When John executed his Last Will & Testament in August of 1993, Marlys was living at the North Dakota State Hospital in Jamestown. John established the John and Myrtle Kinsvater Trust in his will with the provision that, “In the event that Marlys Kinsvater is discharged from the North Dakota State Hospital and is able to live independently and can reasonably be responsible for managing her own funds, and at the sole discretion of the Trustee, all or portions of the trust principal may be distributed to said Marlys Kinsvater.”
Their only child and truly the light of their lives was provided for in this instrument. The trust was set up with the stipulation that all income was to be spent for the benefit of Marlys during her lifetime. This income defrayed nursing home expenses for over 17 years as Marlys moved finally to Sheyenne Care Center in Valley City. After Maryls passed on May 15, 2019, the trust ended with the entire balance of trust property going to the West River Health Services Foundation (WRHSF).
The Kinsvaters had many cousins and relatives, but none that were extremely close. Their gift to WRHSF was a gift to all of us, as neighbors and friends, that will live on indefinitely as an endowment.
WRHSF Fund Development Officer Ted Uecker explained that when someone donates and has a preference to where the money goes, the Foundation allocates the funds to the area of the donor’s choosing.
“Typically, if anyone makes a donation to our Foundation, if they have an intent for the donation, we have to honor that intent.”
In the Kinsvater estate, intent was not specified for how the hospital should allocate those funds, according to Uecker.
“We are going to have Fordahl come and meet with our board at the next Foundation Board of Directors meeting,” he said. “We are going to invite Carol in and talk about how best to respect the donation.”
Uecker explained the money donated will likely be put in the hospital’s general endowment fund and utilized in a ubiquitous way to address the hospital’s needs, whether it be used for better equipment or to attract new doctors to the region. That way, the donation from the Kinsvater estate can continually benefit the people in the region.
The decision for how best to utilize the $227,734 will be made at the next Foundation board meeting on Aug 19th at 7:00 pm at the hospital. Uecker explained that the Foundation’s meetings are open to the public.
“Our meetings are always open to the public. We are a non-profit, so we are wide open,” he explained.
Regardless of which endowment fund the money is put into, Uecker expressed his gratitude for the large gift.
“What we are hoping to do is use this as a springboard to promote estate planning and planned giving,” said Uecker. “We are so grateful for this amazing gift. Thank goodness for terrific relationships with area believers in top-notch rural healthcare.”