Community Foundation for Monterey County Receives $33 Million Bequest

Community Foundation for Monterey County Receives $33 Million Bequest

The Community Foundation for Monterey County has received a bequest of real estate worth approximately $33 million from Charles de Guigné, who died in 2017, the Monterey County Weekly reports. 

Descended from French nobility and one of California's wealthiest families, de Guigné was a lifelong bachelor with no heirs. On the advice of an estate planner, he decided to leave the family's summer home, a 9,000-square-foot house on nearly nine acres of prime oceanfront property, to the foundation so it could be sold to fund an endowment in support of local charities. The two-lot property includes a main house and guest house on the larger lot, while the smaller lot is undeveloped. Built in the 1930s and bought by de Guigné's parents fifty years ago, the main house includes an elevator, a hidden staircase, a downstairs walk-in cedar closet, and a dressing area, possibly used by de Guigné's mother, Eleanor, who owned a large collection of furs, Tiffany jewelry, and haute couture, most of which she gifted to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Dan Baldwin, the foundation's executive director, told the Weekly that a committee of real estate experts and attorneys are helping with the task of selling the property and estimates that the foundation has spent approximately $150,000 on surveys and  environmental and historic preservation assessments. During his life, de Guigné was a donor to the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, SPCA for Monterey County, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, among other local nonprofits.

"At the end of the day, this is all going to get channeled into a charitable fund," said Baldwin.