Liz (r) and Carmen García (Cudeca).
Two Costa del Sol charities benefit from death of expat who didn't leave a will

Two Costa del Sol charities benefit from death of expat who didn't leave a will

The family of Maureen Thomson, who died in 2020, have signed a Deed of Variation to gift her two properties to Cudeca and Donkey Dreamland

Tony Bryant


Friday, 10 November 2023, 13:38


The Cudeca foundation and Donkey Dreamland came together in Mijas last week to host a special lunch in memory of Maureen Thomson, a British expat whose two properties were donated to the two organisations following her sudden death in 2020. The event, held at the donkey sanctuary, was attended by Maureen's sister, Liz Thomson and volunteers of the cancer and donkey charities, along with some of Maureen's friends.

Originally from London, Maureen had lived in Benalmádena since 1998. Described as "kind, generous and open-hearted, Maureen had been a staunch supporter of Cudeca, and she also loved animals, especially donkeys, which is why her sister decided to donate her assets to these charities. Maureen had not left a will because she was "allergic to paperwork" and "never liked any form of planning ahead", so Liz was left with the complicated task of what to do with her estate.

"I'd initially thought I could sell the apartments and spread the money around various charities. I received conflicting advice, and no one seemed to know how to begin with someone who had died intestate in two countries. In the end, a dual-qualified lawyer in Britain confirmed that I could gift the two properties without inheriting them first," Liz explained to SUR in English.

Cudeca's Director of Finance, Rafael Olalla, said, "Maureen's sister, Liz, has donated a beautiful apartment to us. This long and complex process was resolved a few days ago, so we are extremely grateful for her generosity. Inheritances are already a fundamental source of our income."

A spokesperson for the donkey charity added, "We are so grateful to Liz. Gestures like this enable us to go on giving care to our donkeys. Maureen is always with us in our hearts. Her ashes were spread around the sanctuary, a place we think she would have loved to rest since she was a donkey lover."

Liz, who scattered her sister's ashes in the sanctuary last year, believed that she had finally been able to "honour a huge personality who left a lasting impression on everyone she met".

"I think she'd be very pleased with my decision. I have tried to do the right thing, to honour her memory and her spirit. In death she has given something back to the country in which she spent the greater part of her life. Everyone will have their own unique memories of Maureen, while her legacy will bring lasting benefit to the Costa del Sol," Liz said.

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