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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Secret millionaire left fortune to charity

Jack MacDonald was a secret multimillionaire. He lived quietly and humbly, dressing frugally and using public transportation. People liked and respected him, none knowing that he had such a huge amount of money stashed away. In fact, he was known for his frugality. When he died recently, he left $187,000,000 among three American charitable organizations. To learn more of Mr. MacDonald's story, click here to read an article from

By leaving these charitable gifts, Mr. MacDonald is going to touch the lives of thousands of individuals. If you are leaving any amount to charity in your will - and it doesn't have to be $187,000,000 to be important to that charitable organization - make sure you describe that charity properly in your will. Take the time to look up the exact name, or even the charitable registration number of the organization.

I recently saw a will in which a gift of money was being left "to cancer". By checking the Canada Revenue Agency database of registered charities, I saw that several dozen organizations would qualify as potential recipients of the funds. When the description in the will is not specific, you're just asking for a legal fight over who is going to receive your gift. At the very least, your executor will have to approach the court for direction on who to pay the money to.

A gift to a charitable organization in your will is a wonderful gift that you should feel good about. Do it properly so that the recipients are thanking you, not blaming you for a legal mess.

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