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What is an “I love you” will?

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2022 | Estate Planning |

When someone is writing a will, they may decide to leave everything that they own to their spouse. This is commonly referred to as an I love you will. It is a declaration of love because the full estate is going to one person.

For example, this sometimes happens with blended families. Someone will get married a second time, and they will want to show their new partner that they really care about them the same amount as their first spouse. To demonstrate this level of affection, they will leave all of their assets to their new spouse and then that individual will leave the money to the children when they pass away.

What are the problems with this?

There are some serious problems with creating a will this way. First and foremost, if you have a blended family, then it can create issues between these step-siblings. For instance, your biological children may be worried that your new spouse is simply going to leave all of the assets to their biological children, thereby cutting some of the heirs out of the estate plan entirely.

Another issue that can come up is when someone is in a second marriage with a person who is much younger than them. Heirs may have been expecting to inherit their money in the very near future, and they may already have plans for how they would want to use it. But if the full value of the estate goes to a new spouse who is much younger, this can delay when the heirs actually inherit.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t use this type of will, but simply that you need to consider things from every direction when doing your estate planning.