Social worker leaves $11 million estate to the children after the death charities

Social worker Alan Naiman, seen here in a 2013 photo, baffled beneficiaries by leaving an $11 million estate to children in need.
(Susan E. Madsen via AP)

Alan Naiman was known for an unabashed thriftiness that veered into comedy, but even those closest to him had no idea of the fortune that he has quietly built up, and the last act that he had long planned.

The Washington state social worker, died of cancer this year at age 63, while the most of a surprising $11 million estate to the children charities that help the poor, the sick, the disabled and abandoned. The amount baffled as to the beneficiaries and are best friends, who praised Naiman as the anniversary of his death approaches in January.


That’s because the Seattle man patched his shoes with duct tape, wanted to the offers in the supermarket deli at closing time and took his best friends out for lunch in fast-food joints.

Naiman, who died unmarried and childless, loved children, but was also intensely private, scrimping, investing and working extra jobs on the stock of money that he rarely spent on himself after seeing how unfair life could be for the most vulnerable children, his friends say.

They believe that a lifelong devotion to his older brother who had a developmental disability influenced Naiman, although he rarely talked about. The brother died in 2013, the year in Naiman splurged on a sports car, a modestly priced Scion FR-S.

Naiman was said to rarely have money to spend on himself, although he spent it on a Scion FR-S in 2013.
(Shashi Karan via AP)

“Growing up as a child with an older, disabled brother kind of colored the way he looked at things,” good friend of Susan Madsen.


A former banker, Naiman worked for over two decades at the state Department of Social and Health Services, the treatment after one hour call. He earned $67,234 and also took on side gigs, sometimes working as many as three jobs. He saved and invested enough for several millions of dollars and also inherited millions from his parents, said Shashi Karan, a friend from his banking days.

Glad when he finally qualified for senior discounts, Naiman bought his clothes from the supermarket. He loved cars, but for the most part of his life, reed beat-up vehicles and seemed to enjoy the silence and the savings of the solo road trips, friends say.

After Naiman the death of Karan realized how little he knew of the other aspects of his old friend’s life.

“I don’t know if he was lonely. I think he’s a loner,” Karan said.

Many of the organizations take advantage of Naiman gifts said they didn’t know him, though they had encountered one another.

He left $2.5 million to the Pediatric Interim Care Center, a private organization in Washington state that care for babies of mothers who have drugs and helps children wean from their addiction. The group used a part of what was the largest gift ever to pay off a mortgage and the purchase of a new vehicle for the transport of the 200 babies in the accepts of the hospitals per year.

Treehouse, a non-profit organization in Seattle that serves the needs of children in the foster care system, was one of several that received donations of $11 million secret estate of Alan Naiman.
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Naiman had called the center for a newborn while working for the state, more than a decade ago, and its founder, Barbara Drennen, came in the middle of the night to get the baby.

“We would never dream that something like this would happen with us. I wish I could have met him. I would have loved to have had him see the baby he is protecting,” Drennen said.


Naiman gave $900,000 to the Treehouse, a foster care organization, to tell them that he was a foster parent years ago and had children in his care to the group of popular department store, where wards of the state can choose toys and supplies for free.

Treehouse is the use of Naiman money for the expansion of its college and career guidance.

“The economy that he has experienced, that he committed in his life, was for this,” said Jessica Ross, Tree house’s chief development officer. “It is truly a gift for all of us to see that pure demonstration of charity and love.”

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular