Giving Tuesday was yesterday. After all the sales on Cyber Monday, its goal is to remind you to give to charity. I read that sales on Cyber Monday came in at around $9.4 Billion. Now, imagine if there was some type of “match” so that on Giving Tuesday, charities received the same amount. Think of all the things charities could do with a budget of more than $9 Billion! But alas, there is no automatic matching plan. However, with Giving Tuesday, there are still plenty of donations being made to worthy charities before the end of 2019. Many people provide for charities in their estate plans. Some people even put certain restrictions on their donations. One reason to remember to check your estate plan is that sometimes, charities go out of business or move.

What Happens if the Charity Moves or Goes Out of Business?

You should make sure you are reviewing your estate plan on a consistent basis. If as part of that review you find out that a charity you’ve listed has moved, a simple codicil can be used to update that provision of the document. When you don’t make these updates, it can leave a lot of work for your personal representative:

  • The Charity Has Moved – if this happens, your personal representative has to track down the charity. They also need to confirm that it is the correct charity and is still in existence. Once this has all been confirmed, the filings with the probate court have to note the change of address. This may not seem like an onerous imposition on your personal representative, but with a simple meeting with a lawyer, you can ease up that burden on them.
  • The Charity Has Dissolved – your personal representative has to get documents to prove that it has dissolved. Your state government usually has a list of charities and sometimes you can even get proof from the IRS.
  • The Charity Has Been Merged Into Another Charity – what if the charity has merged with other charities? Then your personal representative has even more work to do. They’ll need to confirm what has happened. And in some cases, they’ll have to even enter into agreements with the government to be able to effectuate the gift to the charity.

To you, none of these sound like that big of a deal. It seems like it’s just some simple information gathering for your personal representative. But remember, many times, that personal representative is a loved one. They are going through a very emotional time. You’ve just passed away and they are left to pick up the pieces. The more work on their plate, the more stressed out they may become. Instead of leaving such a stressful situation, a quick meeting with your attorney can help clear up any minor changes that need to be made. It’s a general guiding principle when I work with my clients on estate plans:

Don’t Create Unnecessary Work For Your Family

Next Steps

If you don’t have a will yet, or if you have one that you may need to update to give a gift to a charity, call my office to set up a Legal Strategy Session and we can review the best options for you – (877) AMAYERS

Andrew Ayers
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I work with business and estate planning clients to craft legal solutions to protect their legacies.
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