Like people all over this country, residents of Palm Beach County have strong feelings for their communities. One way to put those feelings into action is with will planning that includes financial support for cities and towns. Whether an area is economically stressed or would benefit from cultural or other programs, close-to-home philanthropy can be a very satisfying choice when estate planning.
A fine example of this approach was recently reported in another state. A small West Coast city will benefit from the generosity of a woman who happened to be the sister of a previous mayor. The 100-year-old widow passed away with no surviving direct heirs. The bright, independent woman had a deep fondness for the lifestyle the small town afforded to its residents in the past. She wished to do something relevant to help preserve it in the future.
Reportedly, her fortune was funded through lucrative real estate development initially financed with revenues from the appliance business she and her late husband ran in the city. According to a close friend, she successfully managed her stock and investments up until her death, proving that she was well aware of the financial choices included in her will.
City officials have reported that the bequest is timely as they are facing infrastructure failures and other financial difficulties. It may be used to match grants to assist with system maintenance for example. The money will be controlled by a three-person trust, managing its use for economic development as specified in the will. As a way to attract professionals and food and entertainment vendors to the city, the trust could subsidize rents and utilities. Preference would be given to those moving into existing buildings.
Whatever type of philanthropy is appealing, looking at options to support a cause or organization when writing a will can be a good choice. Creative planning solutions regarding distribution of property assures that directions are clear, and specific wishes will be followed for all beneficiaries.
Source: TDN.com, “Former mayor’s sister bequeaths $1 million to city of Winlock” Andre Stepankowsky, Nov. 19, 2013