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Basketball coach's will honors his players

Nevada residents who are planning their estate might be interested to learn how a former basketball coach honored his players after he died. After the former head basketball coach for the University of North Carolina died at the age of 83, approximately 180 of his former players received $200 checks with instructions to use the money for a dinner out.

According to the coach's instructions in his estate plan, a $200 check was mailed out to every letter winner he had coached during his 36-season career. Accompanying the check was a letter from the trustee of Smith's trust that explained the reason for the gift. Some of the former players who received their gift checks said that the gesture had touched their hearts, but it didn't surprise them given the man's kind nature when he was alive.

The former UNC coach never coached any other team besides the Tar Heels during his career. His most well known player was Michael Jordan. While he was head coach, his teams had 879 wins and 254 losses and won the national title twice. Although photos of the letters and checks from the coach's trustee have been circulated on social media, one of the recipients said that he knew the man would not have wanted the publicity.

A carefully planned trust can do a lot of things after a person dies. A trust can make bequests to a deceased person's favorite charitable organizations, bestow gifts on friends and help to ensure that loved ones are cared for over their lifetime. Those who would like to personalize their trust with gifts and donations might want to work with an estate planning attorney to ensure that their wishes are understood.

Source: ESPN, "Dean Smith remembers players in will," Darren Rovell, March 27, 2015

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