Berman & Asbel, LLP

Woman's estate benefits a favorite cause

We often post about estate planning, but here's a case of a woman who donated her entire $500,000 estate. She had no children, and her husband and siblings had all passed away. As a pet owner and supporter of the Humane Society of the United States, she decided to pursue donating her estate to support her favorite cause. Her attorney and executor of her will helped her to write out the details of her benefits.

Seven charities received checks for nearly $82,000, including the Humane Society of the United States and local animal rescue groups. One of the charities that benefitted from this woman's donation described the gift as "unbelievable" and "overwhelming." It will help the cat rescue organization to help pay for more crates, spay and neuter procedures and other medical needs. Another beneficiary recently opened a new clinic, which depleted their funds. They care for cats with leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus.

The option is always open to people planning their estate to make different decisions about how to manage their assets. This is especially important for people who may not have direct beneficiaries such as spouses, children and siblings. By making an attorney the executor, an estate can be doled out after death to organizations and charities that are important to the decedent.

An experienced estate planning and will execution attorney can offer many options of how to manage an estate in untraditional circumstances. Though this isn't a great fit for everyone, it is an excellent option for those who have charitable organizations that are very important to them.

Source: The Capital Gazette, "Annapolis woman's estate benefits animal rescue groups," Dec. 14, 2012

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