The Associated Press –
FINDLAY, Ohio — A woman who died Nov. 9 at age 98 has bequeathed her $1.1 million estate to the federal government and requested that it be used to help pay down the $8.1 trillion national debt.
Attorney Tom Drake, the executor of Margaret Elizabeth Taylor’s estate, said his client made it “very clear” what her fortune was to be used for. Her will was filed recently in Hancock County Probate Court.
Taylor, of Findlay, was a staunch Democrat who believed the national debt should be paid off and she wanted to do her part, Drake said.
“It’s not what I would have advised her to do with it, but she really wasn’t interested in my opinion,” he said. “In the end, an attorney has to listen to their client. That’s what I did.”
Taylor had no living siblings or children, and her husband died in 1977.
“She had told me once that she wasn’t planning on leaving anything to family,” cousin Maxine Magoon said. “She didn’t tell me exactly what she was going to do with it, but said that a lot of people would benefit.”
Treasury Department officials couldn’t remember a larger gift, spokesman Stephen Meyerhardt said Thursday.
“It’s the biggest in at least the last 15 years, and most likely the largest one ever,” he said. “Needless to say, most donations are much, much smaller.”
Bureau of the Public Debt records show that U.S. citizens donated a total of $1.5 million toward debt reduction last year.
Taylor was known in her northwest Ohio community for giving to charity, her church and friends. “She was also very involved with her stocks,” Magoon said.