Evelyn Greene and Agnese Simeoni had much in common: they both were devoted parishioners at their church: St. Christopher’s Church in Buchanan, New York. Evelyn Greene tirelessly gave her time to her beloved church and is considered one of the founders of St. Christopher’s Church.
Evelyn was a true visionary and helped cultivate good will and generosity among her fellow parishioners. She also gave generous amounts of money, both to St. Christopher and other religious and charitable organizations, throughout her life, and she died in her 101st year. Evelyn was a fixture at St. Christopher’s, attending daily mass and always there to volunteer her time to her church. Eileen Feely, her friend and fellow parishioner, told us that Evelyn could usually be found in the sacristy of the church, where, among many things, she personally laundered and prepared the linens that adorned the holy altar of the church.
Like Evelyn, Agnese Simeoni, an Italian immigrant, loved her church. Agnese seeded some of the strong roots of the church in a slightly more literal way: Agnese was a prolific gardener, and every plant in Agnese’s garden was grown directly from seeds. There were no vegetable plants in Agnese’s garden purchased from Home Depot or some other market. Year in and year out, Agnese’s garden produced a bountiful harvest that fed her loving husband, Arthur, and others in the community. After Arthur died, Agnese continued to live a vital and active life, including her work at her garden. Those privileged to see Agnese’s garden knew that Agnese was a perfectionist, and her garden always looked like a work of art. With her house directly behind the church, Agnese could be seen frequently bringing the fruits of the harvest of her garden to the parish priests. Agnese tended her garden, totally on her own, to the day she died in her 97th year.
Evelyn and Agnese had something else in common: their life of giving to others and to charitable organizations included generous legacy gifts to Calvary Hospital. Having lived vital and active lives, Evelyn and Agnese knew that, through their gifts to Calvary, they could offer financial support for Calvary’s mission of helping patients and their families at the most difficult times of their lives. Evelyn and Agnese also chose to make gifts to Calvary payable on their deaths through lifetime revocable trust agreements.
Their attorney, Frank W. Streng, a partner at the White Plains law firm, McCarthy Fingar LLP, and a fellow parishioner to Evelyn and Agnese, talked to us about the importance of the use of a revocable trust agreement for clients like Evelyn and Agnese. “Revocable trust agreements insure that, during a client’s lifetime, a client’s assets can be under management by the client, and then by a successor trustee if the client is unable to manage their bills and financial affairs in their later years. Through the appointment of successor trustees, clients like Evelyn and Agnese can avoid costly and legally complicated proceedings for guardianships in the court systems,” said Mr. Streng. “At the same time, if all of a client’s assets are transferred to a revocable trust, a client can insure that, on his or her death, there is no need to probate a client’s Last Will and Testament,” said Mr. Streng, “since a revocable trust can operate as substitute to a Will.”