“Library commission planning how it will expend funds”
When Porterville, California City Librarian Vikki Cervantes got a letter from a law firm stating that Peter Brown, a local resident who passed away several years ago, had named the city library as the primary beneficiary in his living trust in the amount of $158,351.92, she was flabbergasted.
The Porterville (CA) Recorder reported in its article, “Library receives nearly $160K in deceased resident’s living trust, that Cervantes’ reaction was “Like wow!’”
The gift is, to her knowledge, the largest the library has ever received since it started in the early 1900s. Cervantes said Brown gifted the library in memory of his parents. Brown died from long-term heart problems in 2015 at the age of 76. He was a tax preparer at a local H&R Block that he also owned. Brown helped many people in town with tax returns, said a senior partner at the firm handling the trust.
Brown didn’t have any children and never married. He was modest and reserved in nature, but was also very generous and caring. Cervantes said she believes he loved the community. He wanted to be a part of its continued growth so that it could have a positive, sustainable future through his gift.
The librarian thought it was obvious, because the gift is so substantial, that the library meant a lot to him and was a very important piece of his life. Cervantes said. “I think we have a great community resource and we will definitely put Mr. Brown’s money to good use.”
Cervantes said putting it to good use is something the city’s Library and Literacy Commission will discuss. However, she noted the city council has the final say. The commission is thinking about how to use the money.
“I would like to think that Mr. Brown wanted the funds to go to the community in some way since it is a gift to the community,” the librarian said.
Cervantes added that Brown was “a forward thinker on how he wanted to leave his estate planning and leave his legacy in the community of Porterville…”
There are many different ways to consider leaving your legacy. And Cervantes remarked, “certainly since the community institution of a library is not going anywhere anytime soon, we are one of the pillars of important resources the community needs to thrive.”
Reference: The Porterville (CA) Recorder (January 14, 2017) “Library receives nearly $160K in deceased resident’s living trust”