6 Surprising Facts to Know About Estate Planning

If you have a goal without a plan, consider it a wish. If you have assets, don’t wish them away as a poor investment strategy. Ensure that the property you have struggled to have all our life is well distributed after death.

1. The will is thousands of years old

For a long time now, estate planning is one of the things people think about for a better part of their lives. The first evidence of people creating a real estate plan comes to us during the ancient times in Egypt. In 1800 B.C., two brothers in Egypt wrote down their last wishes in hieroglyphics that archaeologists traced them by the end of the 19th century. To anyone who is familiar with the current estate planning, the terms of the will were very familiar.

The Roman Empire, after the Egyptians, saw the spread of the use of the last testaments and wills. As a matter of fact, the Roman law had advanced to a point where there were certain requirements you had to meet to make a testament or will by the time the Justinian code was adopted in the sixth century. The testament or will left behind would be rendered invalid if you failed to meet these requirements.

2. John Adams is responsible for the first estate tax.

John Adams was the second President of the United States. In 1796, he passed the first law concerning estate tax law. The Quasi-War is the main reason why the tax was brought about in the country. This was a war that was a result of the conflict between France and the United States that took place on all oceans in the world. During that time, the United States had no strong Navy. For this reason, President Adams passed that law to purchase the strongest ships and protect the country trading vessels in the sea.

After the conflict had ended, the estate tax was repealed. Though, the tax rolled back even after the country continued to succumb into conflicts that required plenty of money to protect the nation. The present tax in the United States descended from the First World War tax passed to aid the countries fighting other conflicting nations. While this is the case, the current tax has also gone through significant changes since it was enacted in the country.

3. Only a small number of presidents have died intestate.

Speaking of wills and presidents, a wide range of leaders in the country have always left their estate plans behind before they die. They never die before leaving behind a testament or will to govern their property. As a matter of fact, only four presidents die without a will or testament since the country gained its independence. When they die before writing a will or testament, they are referred to have died intestate.

As a matter of fact, two of the four presidents include the two who were assassinated while still in office. They include James Garfield and Abraham Lincoln. Andrew Jones, Abraham Lincoln’s successor together with his immediate successor, both died intestate.

4. Updating your plan is almost as important as creating it.

There is one thing all of us need to understand concerning the estate plans and wills. Unless you pass away or become incompetent, it is not final. For the entire part of your life, your estate plan or will is subject to change. Therefore, you are at free will to change your mind. Be sure to revisit our estate plans on a regular basis. It’s easier to make the life adjustments like divorce and marriage but fail when it comes to real estate. You should have a dynamic estate plan. “If your plan is counting all your wealth and keeping your life at pace, expect a different estate plan when you were 80 than when you were 40,” said The Shealy Group.

5. Some states consider horologic wills as valid.

A handwritten will that is signed without the witnesses is considered as a horologic will. While some states recognize them as valid, Wisconsin does not. For a will to be enacted in the state, the testator must have signed that will. Two witnesses must also accompany that will. The lawyer who drafted that Testament must also be a witness to the will.

6. Everyone should have a will.

Everyone needs to have a will regardless of the amount of wealth you own. If you have it in place, be sure to revisit your estate plans after few years. While you don’t have to visit an attorney for that exercise, be sure that it accomplishes your specific goals.