By Douglas L. Kaune, Esquire Pennsylvania Attorney
Hmm, if I did not already have a will and trust, I would have run out to meet with an estate lawyer to commission a last will after I read the title words to this blog posting. Thanks to my profession, I happen to recognize the need for a cohesive estate plan to minimize tax implications, avoid family disputes, protect beneficiaries from improper spending, creditors, lawsuits and divorce. So many people either have an out dated will or no will at all and are “too busy” in their lives to update their planning.
As this recent Wall Street Journal Article reminded me, Benjamin Franklin was a walking billboard for Estate Planning Attorneys everywhere when he said, “but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” As I read his words, I imagined Ben flying his kite in the thunderstorm waiting for lightning to strike and I was not thinking about the discovery of electricity. Instead, the probate attorney in me wondered if Mr. Franklin had heeded his own words about death and taxes by having a properly drafted Last Will and Testament. After all, the lightning could have struck more than just the dangling key. After a little research I was able to locate Benjamin Franklin’s last will and testament online so click here to see how Ben protected his family, children, lands, assets and wealth from creditors, taxes and government interference.
Ben was right, not just about death and taxes, but also that he needed that last will and testament.