Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Fermion
    • By Fermion 1st Oct 17, 12:13 PM
    • 64Posts
    • 21Thanks
    Fermion
    Charity Box - probate asset?
    • #1
    • 1st Oct 17, 12:13 PM
    Charity Box - probate asset? 1st Oct 17 at 12:13 PM
    Quick question for the probate experts - I'm Executor and handling my Mothers estate and probate. We have found a Charity Collection Box for the "The Children Society" with contents of circa £150.

    My question,
    (a) is this an asset of the Children's Society which I simply hand across to the nearest Children's Society Shop? or
    (b) Are the contents part of my Mothers Estate which I need to include as a cash asset for probate purposes but then amend the distribution post probate to include the Children's Society as an extra beneficiary?
Page 1
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 1st Oct 17, 12:38 PM
    • 3,379 Posts
    • 2,748 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    • #2
    • 1st Oct 17, 12:38 PM
    • #2
    • 1st Oct 17, 12:38 PM
    a! It is not part of her estate.
    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 1st Oct 17, 1:34 PM
    • 428 Posts
    • 412 Thanks
    Sea Shell
    • #3
    • 1st Oct 17, 1:34 PM
    • #3
    • 1st Oct 17, 1:34 PM
    Interesting question...

    So if the answer is A - not included in the estate, is it possible to hold a "charity box" (or 2) in your house with a donation in it, that would pass directly to that charity upon death, without the charity needing to be specifically noted in a will as a beneficiary.

    If so, that sounds like quite a good idea for those who might otherwise wish to leave a modest charity gift in their will, without all the rigmarole. Although it does mean having uninvested cash in the house.
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow "
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 1st Oct 17, 1:42 PM
    • 332 Posts
    • 293 Thanks
    Margot123
    • #4
    • 1st Oct 17, 1:42 PM
    • #4
    • 1st Oct 17, 1:42 PM
    If the box is an official collection box, owned by a registered charity, then once money goes into it that then becomes the property of the charity. Anyone who put money into it clearly intended for it to go to that charity.
    Having to explain to some officious clerk about how it got where it did might be complicated though.
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 1st Oct 17, 2:09 PM
    • 2,005 Posts
    • 2,531 Thanks
    unforeseen
    • #5
    • 1st Oct 17, 2:09 PM
    • #5
    • 1st Oct 17, 2:09 PM
    They used to hand them out for you to have in the house and add money when you wished. It was up to you when/if you handed it in.



    I believe that it is part of the estate
    • Gingernutty
    • By Gingernutty 1st Oct 17, 2:18 PM
    • 3,467 Posts
    • 10,440 Thanks
    Gingernutty
    • #6
    • 1st Oct 17, 2:18 PM
    • #6
    • 1st Oct 17, 2:18 PM
    Technically, it's part of the estate and so must be counted for probate.

    However, it's obvious what she wanted to do with the money, so when the time comes to distribute the money, write a cheque to the charity for the sum of money found in the box.

    Put a note in rhe envelope with the cheque and state whether or not she was a UK taxpater, as they could claim Gift Aid.
    Don't know what I'm doing, but doing it anyway...
    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 1st Oct 17, 2:32 PM
    • 428 Posts
    • 412 Thanks
    Sea Shell
    • #7
    • 1st Oct 17, 2:32 PM
    • #7
    • 1st Oct 17, 2:32 PM
    But it might not be 'her' money...she might have collected it at a charity coffee morning!

    Surely if its in an official collection tin, it HAS to be passed to the charity.
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow "
    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 1st Oct 17, 2:37 PM
    • 428 Posts
    • 412 Thanks
    Sea Shell
    • #8
    • 1st Oct 17, 2:37 PM
    • #8
    • 1st Oct 17, 2:37 PM
    https://www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/20-0-handling-donations/

    20.2 cash makes for interesting reading. They shouldnt even open and count the contents!!
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow "
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 1st Oct 17, 2:40 PM
    • 4,107 Posts
    • 4,471 Thanks
    Keep pedalling
    • #9
    • 1st Oct 17, 2:40 PM
    • #9
    • 1st Oct 17, 2:40 PM
    Personally I would not treat it as part of the estate and simply hand it over to the charity. Putting it into the estate, means it goes to the residual benificiaries.
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 1st Oct 17, 2:45 PM
    • 2,005 Posts
    • 2,531 Thanks
    unforeseen
    https://www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/20-0-handling-donations/

    20.2 cash makes for interesting reading. They shouldnt even open and count the contents!!
    Originally posted by Sea Shell
    Not really applicable in this situation.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 1st Oct 17, 9:27 PM
    • 30,847 Posts
    • 18,451 Thanks
    getmore4less
    easiest way to treat it is as being held as a bare trust.

    Not part of the estate
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 2nd Oct 17, 12:55 AM
    • 37,873 Posts
    • 34,279 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    Another vote for not part of the estate, do not open the box, hand it over to the charity unopened, because you do not know whether it is all her money, or whether she waved it around at a coffee morning, or visitors sometimes dropped a bob or two in.

    I work for a small charity, we do use collection tins and buckets, they are sealed in such a way that we can trace who they were given to and check they have not been opened before return. We send a receipt to the collectors once we've opened and counted the money. The money can't be Gift Aided because we can't be sure it's all from a taxpayer, however we do use the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme which means we do get a top-up on all cash gifts under £20.
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 2 shawls, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 1 seaman's hat ...
    Current projects: 1 shawl, another seaman's hat
    • alanq
    • By alanq 2nd Oct 17, 1:05 AM
    • 3,895 Posts
    • 2,508 Thanks
    alanq
    ...do not open the box,...
    Originally posted by Savvy_Sue
    We have found a Charity Collection Box for the "The Children Society" with contents of circa £150.
    Originally posted by Fermion
    As the sum in the box is know it seems that the box has already been opened.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 2nd Oct 17, 9:24 AM
    • 3,460 Posts
    • 5,303 Thanks
    Malthusian
    As the sum in the box is know it seems that the box has already been opened.
    Originally posted by alanq
    No need to worry about that. The OP isn't a charity fundraiser and had no reason to know or be bound by the Fundraising Regulator's code of practice.

    Another vote for a), just hand it back to the charity. It's the charity's property and not part of the estate.
    • Linton
    • By Linton 2nd Oct 17, 11:19 AM
    • 8,636 Posts
    • 8,611 Thanks
    Linton
    Something of interest to lawyers perhaps, what actually happens should be that the money is given to the charity.

    I would agree with gingernut and unforeseen and vote for it being part of the estate, unless someone can come up with a legal reason why not.

    To protect the executor it should be included in the estate accounts as an asset given to charity. Otherwise someone could raise questions at a later date.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 2nd Oct 17, 11:32 AM
    • 3,379 Posts
    • 2,748 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    Something of interest to lawyers perhaps, what actually happens should be that the money is given to the charity.

    I would agree with gingernut and unforeseen and vote for it being part of the estate, unless someone can come up with a legal reason why not.

    To protect the executor it should be included in the estate accounts as an asset given to charity. Otherwise someone could raise questions at a later date.
    Originally posted by Linton
    It has always been the property of the charity so is not part of the estate. Quite why there should be any doubt is beyond belief.
    • securityguy
    • By securityguy 2nd Oct 17, 12:05 PM
    • 2,414 Posts
    • 3,679 Thanks
    securityguy
    It has always been the property of the charity so is not part of the estate. Quite why there should be any doubt is beyond belief.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    Morally, I agree. In law? I can't see any reason why.

    Consider the following situation. Someone dies, having (for whatever reason) put a grand of their own money into a charity box they have on the shelf in their house. They have debts of a grand. Do the charity get the money? The other creditors would have good grounds to be cross about that.

    OK, the same person doesn't die, but feeling the need for a party, opens said charity box and spends the money on wine and song. What law have they broken? When did the money become the property of the charity?

    Sure, executors should give the money to the charity if they possibly can, but if a residual beneficiary says "no, it's part of the estate" or a creditor says "it's part of the estate", I don't know what you'd rely on to say otherwise. Charity collection boxes don't have some special status in law which makes their contents different to any other sort of money box. I agree, morally the answer is obvious.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 2nd Oct 17, 12:39 PM
    • 3,379 Posts
    • 2,748 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    Morally, I agree. In law? I can't see any reason why.

    Consider the following situation. Someone dies, having (for whatever reason) put a grand of their own money into a charity box they have on the shelf in their house. They have debts of a grand. Do the charity get the money? The other creditors would have good grounds to be cross about that.

    OK, the same person doesn't die, but feeling the need for a party, opens said charity box and spends the money on wine and song. What law have they broken? When did the money become the property of the charity?

    Sure, executors should give the money to the charity if they possibly can, but if a residual beneficiary says "no, it's part of the estate" or a creditor says "it's part of the estate", I don't know what you'd rely on to say otherwise. Charity collection boxes don't have some special status in law which makes their contents different to any other sort of money box. I agree, morally the answer is obvious.
    Originally posted by securityguy
    Assuming the box is a sealed charity one with the usual charity logo and lettering then it clearly belongs to the charity along with any contents. It IS different from a run of the mill money box because it is designed for the specific purpose of collecting money for the charity. The moment anyone puts money in this belongs to the charity. End of story really. If anyone other than the charity subsequently takes money from the box that is theft, plain and simple. Most of the suggestions to the contraray are akin to ill-considered omphaloskepsis.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 2nd Oct 17, 12:43 PM
    • 3,460 Posts
    • 5,303 Thanks
    Malthusian
    Consider the following situation. Someone dies, having (for whatever reason) put a grand of their own money into a charity box they have on the shelf in their house. They have debts of a grand. Do the charity get the money? The other creditors would have good grounds to be cross about that.
    Originally posted by securityguy
    They can whistle for it. Best of luck fighting the charity's lawyers.

    OK, the same person doesn't die, but feeling the need for a party, opens said charity box and spends the money on wine and song. What law have they broken? When did the money become the property of the charity?
    Having read the fundraiser's code, it's pretty clear that if the charity handed one of their members an official fundraising box, they'd be under no illusions that that the box, and any money that was put into it, would be anything other than the charity's.

    Of course in the privacy of your own home you could put money in and steal it back a hundred times over and no-one would ever know. On the other hand, if you held a fundraising coffee morning with a Facebook event at which a dozen people watched each other put money in the box, and then you told the charity that sadly you never managed to get any donations, I imagine they wouldn't just let the matter drop.

    Sure, executors should give the money to the charity if they possibly can, but if a residual beneficiary says "no, it's part of the estate" or a creditor says "it's part of the estate", I don't know what you'd rely on to say otherwise. Charity collection boxes don't have some special status in law which makes their contents different to any other sort of money box. I agree, morally the answer is obvious.
    It's clear that the box remains the property of the charity. It's no different to if you died with your employer's car in your driveway or your employer's laptop in your study. As for the contents, when someone puts money in the box, their intention is clearly to make a gift of that money to the charity. Not to the person who happens to be keeping the charity's box in their house, to do with as they please. The money in the box is therefore also the charity's money.

    The special status in law you're after is the fact that the box belongs to the charity. If the deceased just bought a tin in a charity gift shop and used it as a piggy bank then I agree, it's more ambiguous. But this kind of box seems more commonly entrusted by a charity to their fundraisers for the purpose of collecting money from other people. Giving it to a fundraiser to take home with them doesn't make it the fundraiser's property, any more than a company car becomes the employee's when they park it on their driveway.

    If there's £150 in it it seems rather unlikely that it all came from the deceased and it seems far more likely that it was used for the purpose of collecting donations from others.
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 2nd Oct 17, 12:45 PM
    • 2,005 Posts
    • 2,531 Thanks
    unforeseen
    Was it sealed or was it a flimsy cardboard one like the churches used to give out for the Children's Society? Came flat and you put them together yourself
    Such as http://shop.childrenssociety.org.uk/childprotection-assets/products/products-l/collectionboxsquare-lg.jpg
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,885Posts Today

7,114Users online

Martin's Twitter