A different L word...
July 13, 2018 11:56 PM   Subscribe

If I die tomorrow, I want all of my asset to be the posthumous wind under the wings of other young queer Asian women. How do I set this up?

I am in excellent physical and psychological health and hope to live for a long time. But I have been helping someone I know preparing their will and testament, and for a variety of reasons, I will be filing my own soon. So I have been thinking about what to leave behind.

I am 33F. Currently single. I have no progenny and I don't want any. I don't have very much material possession, no debt, no real estate. I have lots of very dear and very loved family, friends, and colleagues. I would love for all of my people to each pick some objects I've owned and lived in as a keepsake, and donate the rest.

I have a little bit of money-- about 60k in savings--and I have a viola that's worth about 20-25k. I would like for all of this to support queer Asian or Asian American women to find and assert their voices. This could be a scholarship for a promising doctoral student, a project-based grant for a writer/artist/musician/filmmaker, an emancipation startup fund for young people who need to leave home to survive, or heck, even for someone to undergo psychotherapy and pick themselves up.

I don't really have a very concrete, practical idea about how to do this. What I clearly and intensely want is to support other queer Asian women like myself, and I especially want to support them in endeavors that will make our intersectional existence audible. So I also don't want to just donate everything to any LGBTQ charity or any Asian American organization or any arts foundation.

How do I go about setting this up? Some sort of trustfund maybe? Do I need to name specific people to execute the thing? I imagine I'd need to leave more specific instructions than what I wrote here? What are some resources, books, websites for info on this kind of stuff? My family already kind of freaked out when I brought the idea up, and I don't know anyone actively thinking about this that I can ask...because my friends are all in their 30s and worrying about kids rather than wills.
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
For a scholarship, one way to do this is to talk to the development office of your local or favorite university to figure out how you all can properly invest your funds so they multiple. In my limited experience donors have a lot of say in how funds are used.
One thing to consider are the various tax implications for the recipient, so please look into that.

Good for you!
posted by k8t at 11:59 PM on July 13 [3 favorites]

Hire an estate lawyer and get it into writing. It's called a will and an estate lawyer can set it up for you.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 12:18 AM on July 14 [2 favorites]

Look for a queer Asian organisation and see if this is something they can help set up with you. NQAPIA is a good place to start.
posted by divabat at 2:58 AM on July 14 [4 favorites]

You need a will that basically says this and an executor you know understands and will abide by your goals.

At 33 with 80k in assets not much more to do.
posted by JPD at 4:45 AM on July 14

Realistically, 85k will do very little towards the establishment of any sort of ongoing program. AFAICT the best way to put that sort of money in service of a particular purpose would be to either (a) find a foundation that's already doing the sort of thing you want to see done, and bequeath it to them, or (b) find a few specific instances of the sort of individuals you want to support and bequeath it to those people.

Hopefully this is all moot at this point, though, because presumably you aren't expecting to die soon and by the time you do die, you will probably have a quite different pool of assets, possibly much larger or much smaller, which could completely change your options.

If you just want some sort of will as a hedge against the unlikely, I'd suggest option (a) from my first paragraph; it's little work and likely to remain viable for some time (unlike (b), which has moving targets). As you yourself point out, such a foundation may not achieve your exact goal, but as a stopgap plan until you come up with something more targeted it's not bad.
posted by jackbishop at 6:24 AM on July 14 [4 favorites]

80k in assets doesn't go all that far on its own. I'd be looking for a pre-existing charity or foundation or what have you that has a mission in line with your desires, one that already has the infrastructure and institutional knowledge to make efficient use of the funds, and I'd donate my estate to them. Otherwise, a large percentage of your money will likely get eaten up by overhead. You'll still need an executor, but at that point it can probably just be a family member or trusted friend.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 6:25 AM on July 14 [4 favorites]

I agree with y Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The. Your best course is to find an organization which is doing what you want and call the Planned Gifts officer. The planned gifts officer will not only be able to tell you what you need, but more importantly, will make sure the organization has the necessary structures to accept your gift. (Stock and real estate transfers require specific structures at the NPO).

If you can't find a perfect match organization, find one that's close--say an Asian American arts endowment and tell the planned gifts officer you want your gift to start/go into/sustain a program for queer artists. The planned gifts officer will work with the development director to have things in place so that in 50-60 years, your legacy gift contributes to or helps create something sustainable.

You might also talk to a financial planner to figure out how to maximize your estate for the gift.

This is a wonderful idea.
posted by crush at 8:14 AM on July 14 [2 favorites]

This is a really awesome thing to be thinking about.

Maybe this is presumptuous, but have you thought about making smaller gifts to such women in your community while you’re alive? My father always told us there wouldn’t be much when he died because he felt $100 meant more to a college student than thousands of dollars would mean to someone middle-aged (sadly, he died pretty young, with the youngest of us still in high school). I received a small scholarship that paid one semester of tuition, and it meant the world to me at the time. It’s very possible you’re already doing this, so feel free to ignore me. Except when I say you impress the heck out of me.
posted by FencingGal at 8:43 AM on July 14 [3 favorites]

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