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The Will of President George Washington

By February 20, 2013Estate Planning

Portrait_of_George_WashingtonSince we recently celebrated Presidents’ Day, a holiday which was created in part to celebrate George Washington’s birthday, we felt that it was the perfect time to discuss the will he created.  To this day, Washington’s will is kept with the Fairfax County Court where it was submitted for probate in January of 1800, a month after the president’s death. His will is detailed and shows a great deal into his character and mentality.  It stands as one of the greatest documents written by Washington still in existence.

Washington chose to write his own will without the help of any “professional character.”  Estate planning matters and the legal aspects involved were much simpler in these times, and often a well done self-created will was all that was necessary.  His will was 29 pages long, and a former will was destroyed by his wife because, on the day of his death, Washington requested she do so. All 29 pages were signed at the bottom except for one.

In the will, Washington gave instructions to free his slaves and to give support to the helpless children and the old and infirm across our nation.  Washington distributed his assets with great care and detail, listing his reasons and desires for all of his possessions.  He gave various possessions to much of his extended family, as well as to old friends and numerous dependents.  Washington used the will not only as a means to distribute his assets, but also as a way to take stock of all that had been done.  This was especially true for his various farms and other property.

Mrs. Washington was given more than the usual amount allotted to a widow at those times.  However, she passed in 1802, only a couple years after her husband, and the remaining property was sold and distributed among the remainder of the heirs originally listed in Washington’s will.

Washington used his will as a way to recount the legacy he had created and to pass it to those that he loved.  In this document he shared a great deal of his insight and his values and portrayed his great love for those around him – both those known to him and those unknown to him but that were in need.  Washington showed in this case and many others that he was not only a great leader and president, but an honorable, honest and loving man.

For information on how you can create an estate plan to leave you legacy to your loved ones, please contact us today at 888.222.1328.

What the Attorneys of Morris Hall Can Do For You:
The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100’s of years of combined experience ensuring that families’ assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down.  The attorneys also help those in Arizona and New Mexico to apply for and receive Medicaid assistance and Veterans Benefits.  Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

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