What Ben Franklin Can Teach You About Estate Planning

What Ben Franklin Can Teach You About Estate Planning article image

Ben Franklin planned his estate carefully. He left behind a will that might be a good lesson.

Ben Franklin was famous for many things he did during his lifetime.

He is credited with writing almanacs, discovering electricity, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America and more.

One of the things that is not discussed as much, is what Franklin did in his will, through which he had to confront a problem many people face when planning their estates.

The problem?

What to do if you want someone to be able to use your property during life, but ensure that when that person passes away, the property goes to someone else of your choosing.

Franklin used a “life estate” to accomplish this, as The Item reported in “Ben Franklin’s Will.”

In his will, Franklin left his property in and around Philadelphia to his daughter and her husband for the remainder of their lives. He directed that after they passed away, the property was to be given to their children.

This created a life estate for the daughter and her husband.

Franklin also left instructions as to how the property should be handled, if any of his grandchildren should pass away before their parents and what should be done if any of the grandchildren were still minors when their parents passed away.

It is now more common to accomplish the same thing by using a trust. However, you can still do things the way that Ben Franklin did, by creating a life estate in a will.

Reference: The Item (Oct. 1, 2017) “Ben Franklin’s Will.”