Planned Giving: George Washington and Estate Planning
In addition to his laurels as general, statesman, farmer-businessman, and surveyor, George Washington was an adept estate planner, if his own will is any indication.
Washington's will shows not only his generosity and foresight, but also his resourcefulness in making the most of his assets. He might well approve of other forms of estate giving that were unknown to 18th-century America, but possible today, such as:
• designation of final balances from a retirement plan
• designation of benefits from a life insurance policy
• and life income giving
Sample language for including the VHS in your will is available. More information
Washington bequeathed several substantial stock holdings to educational enterprises, including:
Twenty of the shares I hold in the Bank of Alexandria, towards the support of a Free school . . . for the purposes of educating such Orphan children.
He also directed shares offered to him by a grateful Virginia General Assembly. These gifts helped found what is now George Washington University and Washington & Lee University:
[t]he fifty shares I hold in the Potomac Company . . . towards the endowment of a UNIVERSITY to be established within the limits of the District of Columbia, under the auspices of the General Government, and [t]he hundred shares which I held in the James River Company, I have given, and now confirm in perpetuity to . . . Liberty-Hall Academy, in the County of Rockbridge, in the Commonwealth of Virga.