Assyrian Education Network

In Search of an Education Program, Part 2
by Francis Sarguis "Assyrian Kibitzer"
Posted: Friday, June 02, 2000 12:56 pm CST

Part 2 - Benjamin the Munificent

"mirabile visu!"

One might visualize the Adams estate in the shape of a pie sliced in three parts:

First part, Specific Bequests: The words "specific bequests" refer to an exact sum that is given, or to a specific property item that is given, whether it is to an individual or to an organization.

Second part, federal and state taxes; and professional fees and costs.

Third part, the Remainder. This consists of all that is left in the estate after payment of the specific bequests, and after the payment of taxes, fees and costs.

Let us touch here on the first of these three categories.

Specific Bequests

Many of the specific bequests consist of cash gifts. But there are also "in kind" gifts, such as the gift of real estate, carpets, and personal items. Specific bequests are made to 19 individuals, for a total value of $331,641. Specific bequests are also made to 10 organizations, for a total of $58,000.

To Individuals

Pima County real property to brother.
NOTE: This property has been appraised at $76,641 All furniture (except from living room), household goods and personal apparel to brother. NOTE: Appraised value of these items not known to Kibitzer at this time

  • $100,000 cash to a longtime close friend.
  • $5,000 cash to each of three cousins.
  • $10,000 cash to each of two nephews.
  • $10,000 cash to a niece.
  • $10,000 cash to each of eight grandchildren of Thomas F. McLemore.
  • $10,000 cash to each of the three grandchildren of Robert W. McLemore

To Organizations

  • Persian rugs to Carondelet Saint Mary's Hospital NOTE: Appraised value of these items not known to Kibitzer at this time
  • Living room furniture to Sabbar Shrine Temple, Tucson
  • $10,000 cash to Square & Compass Children's Clinic, Tucson
  • $10,000 cash to Scottish Rite - University of Arizona Child Language Lab
  • $10,000 cash to Arizona Chapter, Order of DeMolay
  • $5,000 cash to Sabbar Shrine Temple, Tucson
  • $4,000 cash to American Legion, Tucson
  • $4,000 cash to Veterans of Foreign Wars, Tucson
  • $4,000 cash to Disabled American Veterans, Tucson
  • $5,000 to Assyrian Veterans Memorial Fund
  • $5,000 to Bet-Nahrain Organization, Modesto

The combined total of specific bequests to individuals and to organizations is $389,641. All of these bequests have now been paid by the Executor of the Will (in this case, he is also the attorney for the Will).

In an earlier column we noted that according to the appraisal filed with the Superior Court, the estate of Mr. Adams was valued at $1,481,836. Once we deduct the $389.641 for this slice of the pie, the approximae value of the remaining two slices is around $1,092,195.

Mr. Adams left the bulk of his estate - the so-called "Remainder", to six Assyrian organizations. In our illustration, this is the third slice of the pie. Clearly, it is in these six gifts of the "Remainder" that Mr. Adams expresses his concern for the Assyrian people.

But the second slice of this pie must first be ascertained. How much will there be in taxes, in administrative and legal fees, and in costs? Once these expenses are established, we can know more precisely the net amount which will be available for distribution as the "Remainder".

The six organizations entrusted by Mr. Adams to carry out his dreams and hopes are all Assyrian. He directed that the remainder of his estate should be distributed in the following proportions:

  • 25% to the Assyrian Foundation (Berkeley, California)
  • 20% to the Assyrian Aid Society (San Francisco)
  • 15% to the Assyrian American National Federation (location inconstant)
  • 15% to the Assyrian Council of Illinois (Chicago)
  • 15% to the Assyrian Welfare Society (Chicago)
  • 10% to the Assyrian Club of Southern California (North Hollywood)

The reader will recall earlier in this column that Mr. Adams left Specific Bequests of $5,000 each to two other Assyrian organizations, which he described as "charities". To those two, he did not leave instructions on how they should spend the funds.

On the other hand, as to the six organizations which will receive the remainder of his estate, he instructs each of them that the funds must "be used by such organization for Assyrian children's schooling and education and Assyrian refugee assistance".

Kibitzer has already received some predictable inquiries: What exactly does Mr. Adams mean when he says "Assyrian children's schooling and education"; and what exactly does he mean when he says "Assyrian refugee assistance."

It is not known whether Mr. Adams had in fact discussed his intentions in more detail with representatives of the six organizations prior to his death. It is also not known whether the six organizations already have in place a specific mechanism for carrying out the wishes of Mr. Adams.

Certainly, any light which may be shed on this by any of our readers would be appreciated. In addition, we will make an effort to obtain answers to this question from each of the six organizations.

"Mirabile visu!". Yes, indeed, Mr. Adams' generosity is "wonderful to behold." And his bequest is a treasured opportunity on more than one count. Obviously, it provides a sizable sum to several Assyrian groups who can now address some serious needs. Perhaps just as importantly, it provides a rare occasion for at least these six Assyrian organizations to demonstrate their maturity in the proper management of cash.

Mr. Adams' intention regarding the remainder of his estate may well be the subject of endless speculation. The manner in which these funds are spent may also become the subject of some discussion.

In a future column, we shall take a further look at these questions.

Please send your comments to: Francis Sarguis,

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