The problems often fall into two categories:
- problems related to the donor, and
- problems related to the asset(s) the donor wants to use to make the gift.
Problems Related to the Donor
The first potential problem here is identifying who is the donor.
The donor is the party holding legal title to the asset proposed to be given. For example, Party A says he wants to give some land near a factory he owns.
This means Party A is the prospective donor, right? Not necessarily. Not if it turns out legal title to the land is held by “Party A Enterprises, Ltd.” And BTW, you might not learn about “Party A Enterprises, Ltd.” until after you’ve prepared and presented an elaborate gift plan. A real mess may be lurking here.
Other potential problems here include:
- There may be a question as to the donor’s capacity to make a gift.
- The donor may want to impose questionable conditions or restrictions on the gift.
- You may not be dealing with the donor. Someone else in your organization may, and he or she may not be giving you all the facts correctly.
- The donor may say, “Well, Charity X let me do it (whatever “it” is) this way.”
- You may be dealing with a donor’s representative, who may be trying to put his or her own spin on the gift.
We’ll pick up here next time.
by Jon Tidd, Esq