Vincent M. Casiano, Esq.
Elder Lawyer, Estate Planner, Aggressive Litigator

“Because Life is Meant to be Enjoyed -
From One Generation to the Next.”

No-Charge Phone Consult
619-800-6820
Connect with us
  • LinkedIn

Estate Planning Newsletter

When Your Charitable Gift Fails

If you create an estate planning document leaving property to a charity, but after your death the transfer cannot occur, the court may apply the cy pres rule.

The words “cy pres” are French for “as near.” If your charitable wishes cannot be achieved, the court uses this doctrine to attempt to fulfill your wishes as near to your original wishes as possible.

Why a Gift May Be Non-Transferable

Your charitable gift may not be transferable to your chosen charity because that charity:

  • Refuses to accept it
  • Could not be identified
  • No longer exists on the date of your death

Additionally, a gift may not be possible due to the fact that you:

  • Identified more than one charity in an ambiguous manner
  • Failed to name a specific charity as recipient
  • Failed to specify a charitable purpose

Under cy pres, when your charitable gift cannot be transferred to the organization specified in your trust, it may be given to a related charity that has a related charitable purpose.

Limited Application

The cy pres rule typically will not be applied unless there is no way your particular charitable purpose is possible. Courts are reluctant to second guess intent, so the rule may not be applied if you have not clearly articulated a charitable intent.

  • Facts About Resulting Trusts
    There may be instances where property under a trust is transferred to the wrong beneficiary. This transfer can be corrected through a remedy called a resulting trust or an implied trust. Do not confuse a resulting trust, which is... Read more.
  • Legal Separation, Divorce & Inheritance
    Most people are aware that a surviving spouse is usually entitled to inherit all or a large portion of the estate of a deceased spouse. Fewer understand the effect on estates if one spouse dies during a legal separation or after a... Read more.
  • Estate Tax Rates in 2013
    Much to the relief of many, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (“2012 Tax Act”) was enacted in the beginning of 2013, making permanent many of the tax benefits that were scheduled to expire at the end of 2012. The... Read more.
  • Avoid the Reciprocal Trust Doctrine When Creating Life Insurance Trusts
    Estate planning attorneys utilize a number of different estate planning techniques to accomplish the goals of their clients and sometimes to minimize transfer taxes. One common estate planning technique is the transfer of assets into an... Read more.
Estate Planning News Links
Share This Page:
Designed and Powered by NextClient

© 2015 - 2020 Vincent M. Casiano, Attorney at Law. All rights reserved.
Custom WebShop™ law firm website design by NextClient.com.

Contact Form Tab