I've got a head-scratcher of a situation that I'm hoping to get some help on. I have two questions, but will start with the backstory, which I think will help illustrate our confusion.
In 1986, the Development Office at my institution created what was concurrently called the "LIFEndowment" or the "LIFE Foundation" program. The program involved donors purchasing life insurance policies at very low rates on young family members and naming the college as the policies' beneficiary. The program was marketed in a rather convoluted way that mentioned increasing the endowment, engaging with first-time donors, and ensuring a consistent level of giving. We have not been able to find any formal deeds of gift that were signed, but there is a form that was filled out with the donor's name, insured's name, and tribute and recognition information. There is also a space to answer the query "Please designate my endowed fund created by the LIFE Foundation program as….." (The alumna donor we're working with now completed this section by writing "No special name.")
Fast forward to 2021, and the first of the insured people under this program has passed away. A staff member contacted the alumna (the deceased's mother) who purchased the policy, and she has stated that she would like the funds to go into the Annual Fund. She also responded to an email with the same request. So….my first question is given that we have her intent in writing, are we OK to put the proceeds of the policy in the Annual Fund?
In the next few months we plan to contact the other donors or insured parties and have them sign formal deeds of gift or otherwise document what their intent is regarding the proceeds of these policies. My second question is; should we be unable to get this documentation on any of the policies, how do we determine what to do with the proceeds?