Today, June 15, 2015, is the 800 year anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta! Magna Carta is Latin for the “Great Charter”. It is the essence of the American legal system and your rights as a U.S. citizen and property owner.
English barons in 1205 were fed up with King John’s tyranny. He would take away their land, accuse them of treason and put them in jail. He even tried to rape their wives and daughters. The barons finally revolted because they’d had enough of the King’s bullshit. They carefully drafted a legal document that set forth things the King could NOT do. The Grand Charter gave English citizens, for the first time, legal rights that all future kings had to honor. It limited government power for the first time. Citizens now had the inalienable right to life, liberty and property.
This was revolutionary from philosophical, political and legal standpoints. It gave future thinkers an intellectual basis for the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Those documents and the law it codifies ensures private property rights that government cannot take away. And you can bet Government would take away your property if it could. Coercive power is always abused. “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. This is true even if people have all the power. A pure democracy won’t work because the majority will always end up voting to take away and redistribute property held by a minority. Our Founding Father’s new this. Constitutional law prevents it by protecting your legal rights from government abuse. It’s the oldest and most important defensive weapon in your war chest.
So, say Happy 800th Birthday! And Thanks! To the Magna Carta. It’s a time tested conceptual legal shield, protecting the other assets you’ve accumulated in your Estate Planning War Chest.