Friday, May 24, 2013

Charitable Conflict

The estate of an elderly, childless  Fresno woman was officially closed this week when the bulk of her $2.4 million estate was distributed  to Fresno State and a smaller percentage including personal items was distributed to the retirement community in which she resided.   The estate is newsworthy because she had promised in 2001 to leave her entire estate (then valued at $4 million)  to Fresno State in exchange for it naming the education school after her and her late husband. She changed her will multiple times with the final will leaving some assets to her retirement community and naming its foundation as her executor.

Several points:

1.  She would have been well served by a living trust to ensure privacy for this matter.

2.  Couples make planned gifts, but after the death of one of them,  the survivor is pressured by other charities to leave money to them.

3.  Fresno State seems to have conducted itself honorably by not contesting the will and executor appointment and not removing her name from the education school.

4.  The retirement home will receive 40 mens' shirts, 70 ties, and 5 sport coats.  Apparently no one  cleaned out the husband's belongings after his 1995 death.

5.  The retirement home will also receive 35 turtlenecks and 33 pairs of gloves.  I did not think that the weather in Fresno necessitated such a large collection of cold weather gear.

6.  I hope no one wants the 60 pairs of undergarments.

7.  See point 1.