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Christopher B, Esq
Christopher B, Esq, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2982
Experience:  Litigation Attorney with education focus on estate planning and tax
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We are in New York. A time supporter, friend, and former

Customer Question

We are in New York. A long time supporter, friend, and former board member of our not for profit community children's theater spoke for many years of leaving money to our organization. She loved attending shows, seeing the children etc. When we noticed recently that her house was for sales we wondered what has happened. We had seen no obituary and wondered if her family had moved her into a nursing facility. Shortly there after we received An email arrived from a man, who identified himself as her son saying that she had passed away in April. He lives in Virginia. Our patron had left us $14,000, a portion of a CD as a donation. He asked that half the donation be returned to him in order to off set expenses left by her mother. Our board is split, half leaning toward the thought that the donation does not belong to us: we are careakers of the organization and don't have the right to return the money or go against the donors wishes and we don't know the son at all or the validity of his claim. the other half of the board is in favor of returning half the money but agrees there is no way to validate the mans claim or relationship or need for funds for donors expenses. The man has also followed up to say that other charities that his mother have donated to have written checks returning portions of donation and hopes we'll do the same. We are an all volunteer board and organization. We only had $9,000 in cash assets before this donation. We only 'own' our costume inventory and have never received a donation of this type before or the subsequent request so our by laws are silent on this topic.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what are our legal options as an all volunteer board?
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship.

The board does not have to consider this option and I would be leery of this person. When an executor of an estate distributes assets of the estate, it is not normal practice to ask for funds back. If there were insufficient funds in the estate, the costs would be taken out before any distributions were made and the distributions would be made according to the amount of assets in the estate. The problem of costs would have been taken care of before the distribution. You rights are simply to accept the bequest and you are not required to do anhthing else. If the board wants to give a gift back to this person then that is up to the board

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Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

I see you have reviewed my answer, do you have any further questions? If not, please positively rate my answer as it is the only way I will be compensated for my time by the site.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Any chance for a positive rating?