Los Angeles residents may be familiar with the name Brooke Astor. Astor
was a New York socialite and philanthropist that passed away in 2007 at
the astonishing age of 105 years old. She was a remarkable woman that
worked endlessly to alleviate the plight of suffering fellow human beings.
Her kindness and regard for other individuals won her a Presidential Medal
of Freedom in 1998.
Reportedly, an auction of several of the woman's belongings, orchestrated
by Sotheby's, hauled in a $18.8 million recently. The woman's
estate has been subject to
probate litigation the last five years as her only son worked hard to retain more money from
the estate. However, the woman's final wishes were to bequeath a large
percentage of her fortune to charity.
Accordingly, the $18.8 million secured in the recent auction will work
toward benefiting several institutions and charities. Some named recipients
include the New York Public Library and the Metropolitan Museum of art.
While this woman left a fortune beyond the wildest dreams of most Los Angeles
residents, an individual with any amount of assets, large or small, can leverage
estate planning tools to benefit charities that they hold near to their heart.
It does not take millions of dollars to benefit a charity. Any amount can
work toward aiding a cause that was of importance to an individual. An
estate planning attorney can aid an individual in ensuring that their
final wishes are exacted in the event of the individual's passing.
This includes ensuring that the any desired combination of beneficiaries,
including charities, are benefited.
Source: The Washington Post, "NYC auction of the contents of philanthropist
Brooke Astor's home fetches $18.8M," Associated Press, Sept. 25, 2012