founding fathers' wills

In honor of the month of our country’s independence, shared some of the founding fathers’ wills. Here are some of the interesting items they passed down.

408 Diamonds.

It’s no surprise that our country’s founders were wealthy men, but Benjamin Franklin‘s 408 diamonds left to his daughter came with a contingency: she was not allowed to turn them into “vain” and “useless” jewelry!

A Crab Tree Gold-Headed Walking Stick.

Franklin left the staff to George Washington, writing: “If it were a Sceptre, he has merited it, and would become it.” George Washington also mentioned the “gold-headed cane” in his will, leaving it to his brother. (Washington’s brother died months before him, and now the cane is on display at the Smithsonian.)

The Library of Congress.

Well, sort of. With over 6000 volumes, Thomas Jefferson had acquired the largest personal collection of books in the country. Shortly before his death, he sold his collection to Congress in order to pay off debts. These books later became the genesis for what is today the Library of Congress.

Schools, Schools, and More Schools.

One value that many of the founding fathers and early presidents held in common, was that of education. Benjamin Franklin left money to the free schools where he received his initial education; George Washington designated some of his money toward education of orphans and “other poor and indigent persons as are unable to accomplish it with their own means” as well as money toward the creation of universities; John Adams left money and books to The University of Virginia and other universities.

If you would like to leave your estate, gold-headed walking stick, or diamonds to someone special, and for Wills, Trust Administration, and more Estate Planning needs, contact Glenn R. Matecun by calling (517) 548-7400 in Livingston County and (586) 751-0779 in Macomb County. To learn more about how to protect your assets and to find out what goes into a Will or Trust check out our video “Do I need a Will or a Living Trust?”

See the complete list here for more founding fathers’ wills and presidents’ wills.

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