Unfortunately for Simon Monjack and Sharon Murphy, good intentions do not make up a legal charity.
Amidst increasing reports of questionable financial activity and the overall authenticity of the organization, the Brittany Murphy Foundation has disabled its donation page and is returning all funds collected until the paperwork making it an official nonprofit is finalized.
"We began the Brittany Murphy Foundation to honor Brittany's wishes and to give her family, friends, and fans a way of keeping her legacy alive," Monjack and Murphy explain in a statement on the charity's website. "In an effort to get the foundation off the ground quickly, we established it as a private foundation with plans to apply for nonprofit status down the road.
"However, after some thought, we have decided instead to wait until we have our nonprofit status approved before proceeding to ensure that we can truly honor Brittany's charitable desires. Any donations made up until this point will be returned until we have all our paperwork solidified."
That thought may have been amplified by the fact that, as of last week, the IRS had no record of the Brittany Murphy Foundation.
Several questions about the financial stability of the foundation arose once the website removed the following and began taking charitable gifts, even though it still wasn't legally classified as such: "In the process of getting our Non-Profit 501(c)3 Status, and then we will be accepting donations."
Monjack and Murphy are attempting to do right by Brittany, stating their respective hopes for an up-and-running foundation in the near future.
"We would like to thank the thousands of people who have reached out with kind words of love and support; you have made the hardest journey a little bit easier," reads the statement.
"We hope you will bear with us and check back regularly for updates on the foundation. We hope to have it back up and running as soon as possible."
(Originally published Feb. 15, 2010, at 8:18 a.m. PT)
Catch up on the latest Brittany Murphy news here.