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School Benefits from Inheritance

People often decide to leave money to places and organizations in their estate plans. For example, a person who loved flowers might leave money to their favorite park, so the park can continue to plant flowers and plants in the person’s honor. Worcester readers might be interested to learn how one man’s gift to a college will help them improve their athletic program. In this case, the man created a foundation as part of his estate administration to help various schools.

Oberlin College, a small liberal arts school in Ohio, received an $8 million dollar gift from the Austin E. Knowlton Foundation. The money will be used to improve the school’s football field and build a multipurpose athletic complex. The field will receive an all-weather, multipurpose field, artificial turf and lights and will be used by almost all the athletic teams and club sports. The complex will have a new press box, grandstands, locker rooms and meeting spaces that can be used by the entire community. Groundbreaking for the new complex is slated for Nov. 16.

Austin E. “Dutch” Knowlton, a successful businessman from Ohio, created the foundation through his estate to help support colleges and universities in the Midwest. He was a graduate of the Ohio State University and was the owner and chairman of Knowlton Construction Company, which is based out of Bellefontaine, Ohio.

For those who want to help special causes or give back to the community after their passing, setting up a foundation such as this one is a way to do it. With careful estate planning, a person can set aside a portion of their estate to be used to help these organizations and causes that meant so much to them. Also, by setting the funds aside from the beginning, they are automatically separate from any inheritances a person plans to bestow on others, so there is less of a chance of someone contesting their inheritance in court. Anyone who is interested in setting up such a foundation should seek the advice of an legal professional experienced in estate planning, so the person’s exact wishes can be carried out legally and with as little conflict as possible.

Source:, “Oberlin College will create multipurpose athletic complex with $8 million gift: Higher Education roundup” Karen Farkas, Nov. 07, 2013

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