Is there any way for me to legally sell or leverage control of a $25,000 donor-advised charitable fund (not a trust) that I solely funded?

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Is there any way for me to legally sell or leverage control of a $25,000 donor-advised charitable fund (not a trust) that I solely funded?

I established a donor-advised charitable fund 10 years ago in honor of my late father and funded it with $25,000 of my own money. I haven’t distributed the funds in the account as I was undecided as to how to best honor my Dad. In 2005, I was diagnosed with late-stage cancer which I’ve survived (5 years!), but at a cost out of pocket of about $400,000. In this 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 currently to cover my living and medical expenses until I can find a job.

Asked on November 5, 2010 under Business Law, South Carolina

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, once you have given the money over to a fund, you have relinquished control.  You immediately get the tax benefit and the now owner of the fund can truly do what they want with the charitable giving, but can be advised by you.  Since you have already obtained the tax benefit, you may wish to speak with the fund owner and see if something can be done to reverse the transaction.  If so, you will need to amend tax returns and of course, pay back whatever tax benefit you received.


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