Clients regularly struggle with the decision of how to allocate and distribute their estates between their favorite individuals and their ideal charitable causes. A few years back, I, along with one of my esteemed associates penned what is now affectionately referred to as the Grant-Walker Hierarchy of Worthier Beneficiaries. This model attempts to establish a moral construct for making such decisions. While inherently biased toward an individual’s personal values and preferences, the Grant-Walker Hierarchy of Worthier Beneficiaries does provide some level of guidance for testators wrestling with this important decision. Following is our register, listed in order of worthiest to least worthy:
- Responsible, well-educated, appreciative and moral individuals, who exhibit strong charitable character traits and inclinations.
- Irresponsible, poorly-educated individuals with proper oversight and legal controls in place, along with appreciative, moral and qualified charitable organizations.
- Unappreciative, immoral individuals and charitable organizations, along with the United States Treasury.
If helpful, feel free to incorporate our construct into your decision-making process when deciding who gets what at your death.- Attorney David M. Grant