Massachusetts Museum Receives Millions from the Will of a California Woman

SurdbridgeThe gift from the estate of Helen A. Titus, known to her friends as “Susie,” is the biggest one-time bequest in the history of the Old Sturbridge Village Museum in Sturbridge, Massachusetts that dates to 1946.

Titus passed away in 2020 at age 81.

NBC 10 Boston’s recent article titled “Old Sturbridge Village Gets $5M Gift From Estate of Trustee” reports that the native Californian fell in love with the architecture, the people, and the history, both at the village and in New England after her visit.

"Susie was incredibly supportive of the museum over the past 20 years, and we are grateful that she made such a generous provision for the Village in her estate planning,'' President Jim Donahue told The Telegram & Gazette. "Susie's legacy and impact will live on for generations to come.''

Officials say that Titus’s gift is unrestricted. That means the museum can use it as it sees fit.

The village will soon launch a campaign to raise money to help rebuild roads, HVAC systems and roofs. Donahue said he thinks that Titus’s gift will play a part in that campaign.

The 200-acre museum depicts life in a rural New England town of the 1830s.

If you are considering a charitable donation in your last will or trust, speak with an experienced estate planning attorney. You can learn that there are several ways to incorporate charitable giving into your estate plan.

You can donate appreciated stock shares, your RMDs from your retirement accounts, or create a Charitable Remainder Trust. These are only a few of the options you may not know about that can help charities. Some will even benefit your heirs at the same time.

It is important to understand that all the options have different tax implications. Your attorney will help you consider the tax impact of your charitable giving.

Playing it smart can result in an increase in the amount that goes to the charity, as well as your family, after you pass away.

Reference: NBC 10 Boston (March 7, 2021) “Old Sturbridge Village Gets $5M Gift From Estate of Trustee”

Subscribe to our newsletter


Now is the time.

Protect yourself and those you love.

No matter where you are in life’s journey, we are here.

Whether you need to create an estate plan, protect minor children, need help with long-term care, or you own a business, our caring team can help.

We have 3 convenient locations throughout Mid-Michigan and are ready to serve you.

Take your first step by contacting us today.

Skip to content