Oh no, a charity is getting chummy with Gramps

A virtuous person is also charitable person, right?   If that is the case, why is the family freaking out over the fact that Grandpa is becoming more involved with a new charity in his ripe old age?


The answer of course, is that inheritance is poison.

You see Grandpa’s family is counting on Grandpa’s money coming to them, ever last dollar of it.  So when the family finds out that a charity is “moving in” on Grandpa, they naturally are alert and ready to bear arms.

That’s a shame, because maybe, Grandpa, in his ripe old age needs the companionship, and sense of belonging and purpose that a charitable organization can give to him.  Maybe the charitable organization is totally on the up-and-up, and are engaged with Grandpa in furthering a noble purpose, the least of which can be providing Grandpa with a sense of self.

Or, maybe not.  Maybe the charitable organization is the inheritance predator that the family thinks it might be.

There is only one way to find out.  The concerned family should set up a private meeting with the charity and express their concerns.  The family, for either selfish or noble reasons, should explain that they are going to be watchful and litigious if the charity overreaches into Grandpa’s wallet. Let the charity explain what they are after in the relationship with Grandpa, and what they offer.

It could be that the family will like the charity after all, and will agree with the work or objectives the charity wants to accomplish…with Grandpa.   Or, it could be that the charity refuses the meeting, and Grandpa never hears of the charity again.

Alternatively, Grandpa could get upset over this perceived incursion into his life and affairs, especially if the charity fuels that fire with Grandpa.   So, there definitely needs to be a judgment call based on the politics and personalities.

For the charity’s sake, it makes sense that in today’s over-litigious age they should tread cautiously and welcome a meeting with Grandpa’s family.  This way the charity can express its intentions to the family, especially, if substantial donations may be solicited from Grandpa at some point in time.

Likewise, the family should think about doing their own homework on the charity, and think about setting up an appointment with a representative from the charity to discuss the family’s concerns.  If nothing else, the meeting puts the charity on alert that Grandpa is not alone out there, and that someone is watching.

Like everything in else in life, communication counts.  So, does accountability.

Hopefully, just by the family reaching out to the charity and letting them know that people are watching over Grandpa will make an aggressive fundraiser think twice about overreaching.  On the flip side, if the family is comfortable with the charity, and feels good about their work, then maybe this communication will assist in preventing a family vs. charity war later on, when the charity announces that its’ future building project will “proudly bear” Grandpa’s name. 🙂

Also, it is important for everyone to be aware of the laws out there when it comes to taking advantage of older people.  Talk to a lawyer and learn your rights, and then proceed with your due diligence because remember, in today’s day and age… inheritance is poison.