Father of Ireland Nugent wants to put donation rift behind them - WFLA News Channel 8

Father of Ireland Nugent wants to put donation rift behind them

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PINELLAS COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

The father of a maimed girl hurt in a lawnmower accident hopes to repair a rift with his church over donations.

About $119,000 in donations poured into a church account at Trinity Presbyterian Church of Clearwater to help the family of a Ireland Nugent. The toddler lost both her feet in a mower accident at her Palm Harbor home two months ago.

But this week, after the church delayed turning over the funds, harsh words flew back and forth. Ireland's father, Jerry Nugent said it was a misunderstanding. "I don't know how this all got blown up the way it did it just really took a life of it's own and it didn't really need to. I feel like the damage has been done to our church and to us and I hope we can repair that," said Nugent.

To avoid this type of money squabble, trust attorney, Joe Pippin, host of the weekly radio show "Ask An Attorney", recommends setting up a trust for donations from the very start. A bank or an attorney can set-up a trust in a day's time, that defines the purpose for the funds. Pippin said it's also important to choose an independent trustee. " If you don't have defined rules on the purpose of the trust and how the money can be spent, there's too much freedom in there to do what you want to with the funds," said Pippin.

Yesterday the church deposited the donations in two trusts the family set-up: one to pay for Ireland's medical needs and one to help the family. "Their money did get to Ireland , it's in the trust accounts and it's all monitored so it's very safe," said Nugent.

This week some of that money will go to help pay for Ireland's fitting for her first pair of prosthetic feet.

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