Law Offices of Frese, Whitehead & Anderson P.A.

Local: 321.473.3295

Toll free: 866.510.7362

We can tailor a solution to meet your needs. Find out how.

Protecting charitable trust donations after a challenge by family

Nonprofit and charitable organizations depend on the financial support of people and businesses to continue working toward their goals. Some people will send support in the form of a single payment, while others might commit to monthly contributions to your charity.

Older adults may also consider establishing a charitable trust as a way to provide long-lasting financial support for the charity as part of their legacy when they die. Charitable giving as part of an estate plan is a popular tactic among older adults.

Unfortunately, the other people who might have received those funds, including heirs and family members, may not be happy about the allocation of assets to your organization. That could lead to a challenge against the trust set up to benefit your nonprofit or charity.

It is possible to defend a charitable trust and its assets

Some people mistakenly believe that if family members lay claim to certain assets, it will be unlikely for the charity originally named in a trust to retain those assets. However, as with any other kind of estate challenge, the burden of proof rests on those asserting that the trust is illegitimate or invalid.

Usually, if someone brings a challenge against a trust, they do so because they hope to retain the assets for themselves. The common reasons people give for challenging an estate or trust include:

  • concerns about lack of testamentary capacity at the time of the trust creation
  • undue influence by family members or a third party
  • fraud

The longer the trust existed before the testator died and the more careful and thorough they were in its creation, the easier it will be for your charitable organization to defend its interest in the assets funding the trust.

Although it is common for charities to feel sympathetic toward those hoping to connect with the assets left behind by a loved one, it's also important to remember that the deceased individual had their own wishes for their legacy, and that included leaving something significant for your nonprofit or charity organization.

Fighting a challenge not only helps protect your charitable organization but also the wishes of the person who so generously created a charitable trust for the benefit of your organization.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
AV LexisNexis Martindale Hubbell Peer review Rated for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability Super Lawyers The Florida Bar Board Certified Real Estate The Florida Bar Board Certified Taxi Law The Florida Bar Board Certified Wills, Trusts and Estates The Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Florida Trend The Issues, People and Ideas that Define Florida Business