Palm Beach residents who have the means may want to let their wealth live on to help others through charities or organizations that they are passionate about. If this is your choice, you should consider appointing someone you can trust as guardianship of your finances and estate in the event you become incapacitated to do so. If you do not, you may find your interests being overseen by a court-appointed agency or a court-appointed guardian, who may not only be making medical decisions for you, but also decisions for your finances and estates.
A California woman who grew up in an orphanage apparently had a passion for children. She lived meekly and appeared to be poor while living, but she was far from it. She was worth around $1.3 million when she died at the ripe old age of 98.
Allegedly, when she was living, she drove a ragged, old car in which the trunk wouldn’t even stay shut without a bungee cord holding it, and there was no backseat. She dressed in old, worn clothes and could have been mistaken for a homeless person. She didn’t live in a nice, big home, but instead lived in a small house in Waterford.
Despite her poor appearance, she was apparently a shrewd woman, having lived through the depression years. She was at one time a real estate investor and salesperson, who not only bought and sold, but financed some homes at 8 to 12 percent interest. Shrewd as she appeared — in evicting renters who didn’t pay their rent — she also was scammed out of some significant amounts of money twice, recuperating only a portion of it through legal means. Many saw her as generous during her lifetime, once donating money for a new fire station, and starting a bank account for her first granddaughter.
The woman unfortunately ended up in a rest home under the conservatorship of the county in 2000. When she passed away in 2001, relatives sued the county and won control of the estate. Her will bequeathed much of her wealth to charities for boys and girls, and to the arts.
Her great-nephew, now executor of her estate, has delivered funds to different charities such as: $54K to a Boys and Girls Club, checks of unknown amounts to Modesto Gospel Mission and a county farm bureau for a children’s camp, and the Waterfront Education Foundation.
Source: The Modesto Bee, “Jeff Jardine: Waterford woman’s estate benefiting kids, arts many years after death” Jeff Jardine, Mar. 22, 2014