Go Beyond the Oval Office: Estate Planning Lessons From US Presidents – Presidents who have served the U.S. have taken on a responsibility that exceeds what most of us can even imagine. The decisions they make affect millions of people for better and worse. As these leaders manage their citizens’ complicated needs, you might think they would have no problem managing their personal affairs, but that’s not always the case. Feb. 19 is Presidents Day, which gives us a great opportunity to reflect upon the successes and failures of some of our past presidents’ estate plans.Go Beyond the Oval Office: Estate Planning Lessons from US Presidents

Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln’s life ended suddenly and unexpectedly, so it’s probably not surprising that he did not have an estate plan in place when he passed away. A Supreme Court justice had to become involved to determine how Lincoln’s estate should be divided between his wife and living sons. There’s no telling if the outcome aligned with what Lincoln wished for his family. You never know when you’re going to pass away, so it’s essential that you create and maintain an estate plan throughout your life.

George Washington
It might come as a surprise to learn that Washington was the patriarch of a blended family. He had stepsons and grandchildren that he cared about deeply. To ensure that his heirs received everything they would need to live a happy and fruitful life, Washington was meticulous with his will. Like many of us, Washington wanted what was best for his family after he was gone. Through deliberate planning, we can ensure our legacy lives on through our children, grandchildren, and beyond.

Thomas Jefferson
Debt is something that affects nearly every American, even our presidents. Our third president, Thomas Jefferson, knew the pains of debt all too well. Jefferson struggled with finances and debt throughout his life. There was little cash available to settle his debts after his death, so the family had to sell his land instead, leaving very little for his heirs. If Jefferson would have had a life insurance policy in place, he could have settled his debts with his policy rather than paying with property and cash meant for his family.

Studying our past presidents is a great way to discover history and learn some valuable life lessons. If you want to avoid some of the estate planning mistakes that our forefathers made, give us a call today!


Andrea Shoup