Were you in a greek sorority or fraternity in college? Have you given consideration to the proper post-death disposition of your sorority or fraternity badge?  theta-badge If you are uncertain as to your organization’s rules, you should check.  Some organizations have formal guidelines and even forms you can complete to be sure the badge finds a good home in the future, or suggested language to be included in your estate plan. For example, my sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, has guidelines that provide upon the death of a member, the badge can be (1) buried with the member; (2) passed along to a family member who is a Theta, or (3) returned to Fraternity headquarters.  Are you the last in your family in your sorority or fraternity? You might consider donating your badge or pin back to the sorority or fraternity to be held in the archive collection, donated to be used as a special award badge (e.g., a scholarship badge) or for a member who cannot afford a badge.  If you do not provide guidance, family members or friends may not know what to do with your badge when you pass away.

Are you the Personal Representative or Trustee of an estate which includes a sorority or fraternity badge or other greek items?  If the decedent did not provide for the specific disposition of his or her badge, you should contact the Fraternity for guidelines. The badge should not end up on an online auction website or be donated to other charitable organizations (e.g., Goodwill).  The Sorority or Fraternity will help you ensure the best placement of the badge.

–By Stephanie Bivens