Many, many times we have written in this space about the dangers of not having a Will. We have given you famous examples of people who passed away without Wills and the problems that resulted for their estates. We have to be honest, however, sometimes when a person passes away with a Will, the estate does not experience any problems. Although rare, cases exist where a large estate went smoothly despite the deceased not leaving a Will. Maybe, some of you are in the same situation as Abraham Lincoln, who passed away without a Will.
At the time of his death, Lincoln’s estate was worth several million dollars in today’s money. He was close friends with Justice David Davis of the United States Supreme Court, who agreed to administer the estate for free. Congress donated tax-free money to Lincoln’s widow. The estate was easily divided by the widow and Lincoln’s surviving children.
If you will pass away as a war-winning, assassinated President who is good friends with a Supreme Court Justice, then feel free to follow Lincoln’s example and not have a Will. The rest of us will not be so lucky and need a Will.
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