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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4814
Experience:  Lawyer & Real Estate Broker, 30+ years, foreclosure, land contracts, inheritance, probate.
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Not for profit question: This question is about a not for profit

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Not for profit question: This question is about a not for profit center my mother established while going through her papers I found a document that state" In the case of incapacitation of Ruling Elder Edna Dillard, the equal and authoritative rights of final decision making power is allotted to that of the Governing Board. We do give the authorative signing and speaking rights to final decisions power to XXXXX XXXXX ." this is on the center's letterhead and signed and notarized with the members signature. I am wondering if this document had any meaning my mom is deceased and this document was done in 2007 would it still be in force now. it is a doc they added to the charter for the center and I stated the center is still carrying on business it is a religious charity organization (Center) that provides charitable outreach services namely, counseling, education, guidance in the field of religion to the and community (youth, sick, food pantry and the emotionally distressed also has a place of worship) I am the daughter of the person that established the center and I am her executor I need to know If I have the power to make decisions.. I also worked as a clerk and did administrative duties until my mom went into to hospice and I took over full time care until she expired. July 2012 . I have done some research over the last few month to get some clarity on the status of the organization, the charity had a Autocratic system in place.( my mom made all decisions) There is currently no one in leadership role and there isn't a board of directors , trustee, secretary I found out there is not any documents to amend charter , nor a order of succession and I have not been able to locate any by-laws (since this is an unincorporated entity) in place to even place anyone in the leadership role. I am not sure how to proceed as the appointed administrator of my mother's personal affairs
I have gotten different answers from the county who says they do not incorporate and they are not listed with Albany or Atty General as not for profit and the paperwork they provided to the county only says they are a center with religious traits like a church and I assume it would make them a church but the organizational charter is muddled there were no officers in place only my mother as founder /CEO and 2 trustees listed and they all passed away. no amendments signed by the founder exist. NO board of directors/governing board NO Pastor in place NO document for succession in place. Who would I need to challenge me and how would I get something done if there is NO one in place. Per their own charter there is NO voting or appointments among the members to any office and may be a unique situation.. I don't know I am not sure how to proceed. and I appreciate your honest answers. if you can not answer with this info let me know and if I need a lawyer what could I try to do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

Hello, and thanks for contacting us with this interesting situation. I will be the person assisting you, and I think that I can get you going in the right direction. First, some basic information. Non-profit status comes from the State. Tax exempt status for charitable contributions under IRS Sec.501(c)(3)comes from the Federal government. You should first check with the NY Secretary of State to see if the organization ever had a non-profit corporation status, and if so, if it is listed as active or revoked. If annual reports haven't been filed for many years, it has probably been terminated. See: http://www.dos.ny.gov/corps/bus_entity_search.html . Next and most important, check with IRS to see what the 501(c)(3) status of the organization is. See: http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Search-for-Charities. Let me know what you find out, and we can go from there.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have done so much research so I can answer almost any question you can possibly ask .. I already check with NY State Charities and Albany the organization is not listed at all and has not been listed for 15 years they only submitted the articles of incorporation to the county which were not stamped by state .. I asked the person who was training under my mom if she had ANY document to place her or anyone else in CEO position she said NO.( county informed me that incorporation comes from state level) on the IRS site it says GROUP:Generally, a central organization holding a group exemption letter, whose subordinate units covered by the group exemption are also eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions, even though they are not separately listed. That is why I am confused on how the organization was set up my mother and a friend did all the paperwork themselves and did not consult a lawyer The never had minutes to any meetings all decisions were made by CEO can not locate any paperwork except the charter. Thank you for your insight because I am truly confused.

Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

My Apologies for taking so long to get back to you. I am a full time lawyer with a busy practice and side interests. Today was a busy one. I can tell you that it appears that your mother was running a one-woman show. She had zero organization status, either legal or defacto. That's not necessarily a bad thing though, except that it's hard to believe that she ever attained 501(c)(3)status, or at least one that hasn't been revoked due to lack of return filing. If I am right about that, then contributions to her were and still are not tax deductible to the donors. Your status as her personal representative doesn't give you any control over her charitable activities. Such are not passed by inheritance. You (or anyone else) are free to pick up where she left off and continue her good work. You can form a new organization, incorporate or not as you see fit. You can raise funds, but you can't offer tax deductible status for contributions until you qualify for same with the IRS. You might seek out an umbrella 501(c)(3)or church to affiliate with and which permits you to offer tax deductible gifts to their donors. If you plan to continue and 'grow' as an organization, I suggest a brand new NP corporation, with a Board of Directors and a set of bylaws. Corporation status is optional but it provides a good legal framework to operate under and protection against personal liability. If you have any further questions please send me a reply, and I hope this information is helpful and that you will enter a positive rating. We appreciate your business. Please consult a local attorney to verify the accuracy of this information according to your state's laws.

Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4814
Experience: Lawyer & Real Estate Broker, 30+ years, foreclosure, land contracts, inheritance, probate.
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