Saturday, April 5, 2008
From the Globe and Mail in Canada comes a story about a woman who lived a full life, enjoyed herself, and then left her $5 million estate to four charities without strings attached. Lucile Pratt died at 98, and a friend reminiscing about her described her as a "party girl." She enjoyed going to clubs and going on cruises and she also had a passion for philanthropy. Ms. Pratt and her husband, who died in 1969, had already contributed $6 million to the University of Toronto and supported many other charities. When she died, Ms. Pratt left her entire estate to four named charites, divided among the four in amounts the personal representatives determined. The charities submitted "wonderful proposals" of how they would use the money to the personal representatives, who in the end divided the estate equally among the four. Ms. Pratt was, it seems, happy to leave a legacy without the restrictions donors sometimes impose on the charitable recipients of their largess.