Preserve Your Legacy

Estate Planning | Elder Law | Special Needs Planning

WHEN JEFFERSON WAS A MISTAKE

WHEN JEFFERSON WAS A MISTAKE

We have written many times in this space that you need to update your Will whenever there is a significant change in your circumstances. There is another reason that you should update your Will from time to time. You should also update you Will when the life circumstances of your Executor change significantly.

In the early years of the United States, if one of the goals of your estate was to free slaves, then Thomas Jefferson would have been an excellent choice to designate as the Executor in your Will. Out of all of the founding fathers, Jefferson was the most outspoken in condemning slavery. The only reason he did not free his own slaves was that as property under the law, the slaves were subject to the claims of Jefferson’s many creditors. In 1798, a wealthy man named Tadeusz Kosciuszko nominated Jefferson to be the Executor of his Will, which left money that was to be used to purchase and free slaves. However, by the time that Kosciuszko passed away in 1817, Jefferson was in poor health and had to decline to serve as Executor. Eventually, litigation over the estate ensued and the money was never used to free slaves.

Make sure that you update your Will and name a new Executor when the person designated is no longer able to serve in that capacity.

Categories