Our 501(c)(3) retirement center often receives a gift like a lift chair or motorized wheelchair when a resident passes on. The gift usually comes when a family member is clearing out the person's apartment. To whom should we acknowledge the gift? Should it not be from 'the estate of the deceased' if the item was in their possession at time of death - regardless of who may have purchased it and/or when?
I would initially acknowledge receipt of the gift from the estate of the person who died. If the personal representative of the estate confirmed that the property had been specifically willed to an individual, or was not owned by the resident at the time of the death, you could issue a new receipt to the proper owner/donor and separately advise the personal representative of the estate that the earlier receipt was issued in error and should not be used to claim any type of tax deduction.