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Your organization has spent years, perhaps decades, cultivating a large estate gift from a generous and reliable donor who has recently died. You attended the funeral, comforted the family and expressed your gratitude along with your condolences. Several weeks have now passed and you have heard nothing from the executor, the trustee or the attorney. Now what? Estate and trust gifts come in all shapes, sizes and degrees of difficulty. Executors, trustees, and the attorneys who represent them come with a wide range of fiduciary expertise, work ethic, level of transparency, attention to detail, commitment to the job, and independence. Charities, while typically very worthy of a deceased donor’s support, are sometimes viewed by the donor’s family with indifference, suspicion and on occasion, outright hostility. Circumstances can be made even more challenging when an indifferent or hostile family member also happens to be the fiduciary responsible for the delivery of a charitable bequest. This presentation will explore some “ripped-from-the-headlines” case studies designed to illustrate some of the obstacles to productive working relationships among charitable beneficiaries and fiduciaries following the death of a donor, and how to avoid those obstacles, work around them and ultimately overcome them.
What you’ll learn:
- An overview of death-related administration of estates and trusts for planned giving and development professionals.
- Tips and tricks for developing and maintaining productive working relationships with fiduciaries responsible for the administration of estates or trusts that include gifts to your organization.
- A better understanding of the rights and responsibilities of charities during death-related administration and how best to exercise those responsibilities and assert those rights as necessary to protect the interest of your organization.
About the Speaker: Fredrick Weber, Sr. Vice President and Estate Settlement Services Practice Lead, Northern Trust Company
Fred Weber leads the Estate Settlement Service Practices for Northern Trust Company’s Central Region. Fred’s team handles death-related administration of estates and trusts when Northern Trust acts as a fiduciary for clients who have died. Fred previously worked for another corporate fiduciary, and before that, spent several years in private law practice as a trust, estate and probate attorney. Fred also worked as a planned giving officer for a large public charity, and before law school, he worked in Washington, DC, as an aide to the late U.S. Senator Paul D. Wellstone (D-MN). Fred has presented to the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE), the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), the Chicago Estate Planning Council and the Minnesota Planned Giving Council. Fred is an adjunct professor at John Marshall Law School, where he teaches a course on death-related administration of estates and trusts. Fred is a board member and past president of Shalva: A Response to Domestic Abuse in Jewish Homes. Fred received his B.A. from the University of Minnesota and his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law. He is licensed to practice law in Illinois.