Is there any way for me to legally sell or leverage a $25,000 charitable fund that I solely funded?

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Is there any way for me to legally sell or leverage a $25,000 charitable fund that I solely funded?

I established a charitable fund in 2002 in honor of my late father and funded it with $25,000 of my own money. I never distributed the funds as I was undecided as to how to best honor my Dad. In 2005, I was diagnosed with late-stage cancer which I have survived (5 years!), but at a cost of $400,000 out-of-pocket. In the past year my employer went out of business and a new job I then lined up was eliminated due to the state of the economy. The point being that I’m in desperate need of cash to cover my living and medical expenses until I can find new employment.

Asked on November 1, 2010 under Business Law, South Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for your situation but congratulations on your recovery.   It is my understanding that a charitable trust is an irrevocable trust set up for the benefit of society, and could be on behalf of someone like you did for your Dad.  The key word here is irrevocable, whichmeans that you would relinquish the ability to dissolve the trust should you wish to do so.  This factor means that it is not your property so then it would follow that it is not yours to sell or leverage.  But is there a remainder interest in the trust?  The fact that you have not named a charity to which the fund is designated may or may not be a consideration here and I would check that out with an accountant who best understands how the IRS views these matters.  Good luck to you.


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