Planned Giving


A true story.

Recently The Living Desert received notice from an attorney that a woman (fictitiously referred to as "Augusta" in this story) here in the area had wanted her estate to be divided between The Living Desert and two other not-for-profit groups that care for animals. The attorney said that Augusta was someone who regularly came to the senior center where he volunteers and advises people to have a legally binding will or trust. Augusta called him on a Friday around 3 p.m. and said that she wanted to do one... now. He told her that he was leaving town for the weekend, so to write down in her own handwriting her wishes, sign and date it, and come in to his office on Monday to draft a formal document.

Augusta died on Sunday.

He submitted the document to the court and the judge ruled against it.

Augusta didn't follow his directions to hand write her wishes and instead typed it on her computer. She did sign and date it. Legally the document was not acceptable.

A distant cousin from an eastern state claimed and received the estate. She had not had any contact with this "relative" in many years.

Augusta's beloved animals received nothing.

If you are interested in how to plan your future bequests, The Living Desert always advises each person to seek the advice of your legal counsel, financial planner or CPA. We will provide you with any information that your advisor may require.

Our main concern is to make sure that your request for the use of your gift is honored. We are deeply grateful to those of you who are coming forward and remembering The Living Desert in your bequest and joining The Heritage Society.

If you are considering a gift of any size and would like more information, please contact Ivy Lewis at or call (760) 346-5694, ext. 2160.

Thank you for your interest and support for The Living Desert.