There are many reasons why a public charity may reach the end of its life. Economic pressures, dwindling membership, deteriorating facilities, and other factors may all play a part in causing a charity to wind up its activities and dissolve. The Attorney General's Office ("AGO") reviews all proposed dissolutions by public charities organized in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to ensure that charitable assets are managed appropriately, even as the charity takes the necessary steps to close its doors.
The process by which charitable corporations with no assets dissolve in Massachusetts has changed dramatically. Prior to its amendment G. L. chapter 180, §11A required all charitable corporations whether or not there were assets remaining, to dissolve only by order of the Supreme Judicial Court ("SJC"). As now amended, the law permits corporations with no remaining net assets to dissolve through an administrative dissolution petition filed with the AGO. The law with respect to charitable corporations with remaining net assets that seek to dissolve is as yet, unchanged, and those organizations must still obtain the approval of the SJC. Please note that the recent amendments also authorize the SJC to adopt rules permitting the AGO to administratively dissolve charitable organizations with remaining net assets below a threshold to be established by the Court, but no such action has yet been taken.
In response to the amendments in the law, the process for dissolution within the AGO has been substantially revamped. It is simpler and reflects the changes in the law. One new change is that all charities required to report to the AGO must submit a Final Form PC (Form PC-F) . After completing the Form PC-F, you will know whether there are assets that will need to be transferred as part of the dissolution and what other documents are required.
Please choose from the appropriate set of guidelines based upon whether your organization has remaining charitable assets.