Is it legal for a non-familiy member to set up a memorial fund in my deceased brother’s name without consulting the family?

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Is it legal for a non-familiy member to set up a memorial fund in my deceased brother’s name without consulting the family?

My brother was killed 5 months ago. A friend of his then set up a memorial fund in my brother’s name. Our family was not aware of this until at least a month after the account was set up. She is also hosting charity events and soliciting donations from businesses. I called the bank and they told me there is no stated purpose for the memorial fund. I don’t believe the intended recipient of the fund even has access to the $ and thus far hasn’t received any of it. Is there anything we can do?

Asked on November 4, 2011 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  On the outside looking in this type of activity looks to be one that is admirable.  But one can really see that people can use the horrible situation for their own benefit if they are not monitored or checked.  If you and your family believe that this person is soliciting the money illegally - or rather not for the intended stated purpose - then yu should consult with an attorney in your area to issue a cease and desist letter and to provide verification of the legitimacy of the fund.  Yo may have to do something to "copyright" - which is the best way that I can generally explain to you the idea - his name and its use.  Good luck.


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