How would you feel if you were to receive a significant inheritance and then find out that the estate administrator had sent you the money by accident? This is the feeling that was experienced by Collinsville, Oklahoma animal shelter founder Susan Babbitt.
Out of the blue, she received over $188,000 from the estate of a woman named Mary Kay Thomas. Though she was unaware of any connection between the deceased to Ms. Thomas and her shelter, she was certainly happy to receive the windfall because money is always tight for the shelter.
She immediately deposited the check as most people would, but in short order she was informed that she had to give the money back because it was sent to her by accident.
There was a mix-up at the law firm that is handling the estate, and the bequest was sent to the wrong shelter. Mary Kay Thomas, who reportedly passed away without having a family, left 27.5 percent of her estate to the animal shelter in Collinsville, Illinois rather than Collinsville, Oklahoma.
This was quite a whirlwind for Susan Babbitt. She was suddenly in possession of a much-needed windfall of money, and just as suddenly she was forced to give it back.
There is a bit of a silver lining here for the Oklahoma animal shelter. Matt Dana is the president and owner of the law firm that made the mistake, and he is going to donate his fee for handling the Thomas estate, which totals $12,000, to Susan Babbitt’s Ward-Wiseman Animal Haven.