Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, May 7, 2018

96-Year-Old Secretary Quietly Amasses Fortune, Then Donates Majority to Charity

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-05-07/db664b2a-34b5-4dd7-99cc-b8d3b8466e84.pngSylvia Bloom worked in the same law firm in Brooklyn for 67 years as a legal secretary. She retired in 2016 at the ripe old age of 96 and passed away shortly afterwards. It was not until her niece and executrix, Jane Lockshin, was settling her account when Ms. Bloom’s big secret was revealed – she was a multi-millionaire. The secretary simply watched the investments the attorneys were making and made similar ones, albeit in smaller amounts. But they added up!

Ms. Bloom’s will allowed a portion of her fortune to go to relatives, but the large majority of the approximately $9 million amount was to be gifted to scholarships of Lockshin’s choice for needy students. Lockshin is the treasurer of Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side, so the choice was an easy decision to make.

The gift of $6.24 million marks the largest in the organization's 125 year history. It will also endow the Expanded Horizons College Success Program, which helps disadvantaged students prepare for and complete college.

See Corey Kilgannon, 96-Year-Old Secretary Quietly Amasses Fortune, Then Donates $8.2 Million, New York Times, May 6, 2018.

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) and Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law)   for bringing this article to my attention.


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