23 Mar Good Will Drafting Provides for all Contingencies
Attorney-drafter brought a construction proceeding to have the court authorize making gifts under the will to two substitute Jewish charities in the place of Graenum Berger a charitable organization named in the original Will which was no longer functioning. Bronx County Surrogate Nelida Malave-Gonzalez found testator’s intent was to benefit Jewish charities and did not intend a forfeiture of the bequest to Graenum Berger. The court found that the services the substitute organizations offered closely resembled those Graenum Berger offered. Thus, it found the cy pres doctrine may be utilized to authorize the gift to the similar charitable organizations. The lesson to be learned here is that good will drafting provides for all contingencies- even the eventuality that a charitable organization will no longer be in existence at the time of the testator’s death. A provision in the will that said what happened to the gift if the charity was no longer operating would have avoided the need for a construction proceeding.
Matter Of Estate of Reiss