When you give a bequest to a charity it is going to be greatly appreciated, especially if the organization is strapped for cash. Many people choose to give to charitable causes in addition to the inheritances that they give to their family members. If you’re in a position to do this you may want to include a charitable giving component within your estate plan.
On the other hand, if you don’t have any family why not leave a bequest to a charitable cause or causes? We recently passed along the story of the former New York real estate developer Roman Blum who died intestate while in possession of some $40 million. If no one comes forward within three years of his passing the state of New York will assume ownership of his assets.
Even if he didn’t want to leave any money to people that he knew he could have supported charitable causes.
This is what a woman named Mary Kay Thomas decided to do. According to reports she passed away without having any family, but unlike Roman Blum she was proactive about planning her estate.
She left over $188,000 to an animal shelter in Collinsville, Illinois. This is fantastic, but the only problem is that the law firm that was handling her estate sent the check to a shelter in Collinsville, Oklahoma.
The individual who runs the shelter in Oklahoma is understandably disappointed. However, she must return the money. The blow has been somewhat softened by the fact that the law firm is donating $12,000 to the Oklahoma shelter, which is called Ward-Wiseman Animal Haven.