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Florida woman's will leaves unexpected gift to musicians

When a person has accumulated substantial assets during their lifetime, they often have firm plans for to the distribution of those assets when they die. For many people in Polk County, this means passing down a good share of those assets to children or other family members. However, not everyone chooses to leave all of their assets to family; some people have charitable causes and other beneficiaries that they wish to help through their estate.

For one Florida woman, music was a passion, and it played a role in how she chose to distribute her assets. The woman was a philanthropist from a well-known family. She had a close connection to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and at one point during her life, she even hosted a party for the orchestra at her home in Florida.

Throughout her life, Fisher admired the orchestra, and she and her family donated millions of dollars to it. In her will, Fisher earmarked $390,000 for members of the orchestra. That amounted to a $5,000 gift for each of its 78 members. The musicians were, of course, grateful for Fisher's surprise gesture.

This story is just one example of how a person may decide on an uncommon plan to distribute assets from their estate. However, those plans are only as good as the legal instruments through which the person executes their plans. Preparing a will that is thorough and unambiguous is the cornerstone of a smooth estate distribution.

An experienced probate and estate administration attorney can help Florida residents execute a legally binding will that achieves their wishes, no matter how uncommon those wishes might be. Drafting a clear and legally sound will or trust is the best way to avoid a will contest among family members and others who may be unhappy with the testator's wishes.

Source: Detroit Free Press, "Surprise! 78 DSO musicians each receive $5,000 bequest," Mark Stryker, July 15, 2016

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