A will is a legal document that lets you tell the world who should receive your assets after your death. An “I Love You” will basically states, I leave everything to my spouse first and then to our children equally. In real life this type of will can become anything but loving.
Marge and Walter have three wonderful children, Beth, Dave and Mark. Beth lives locally and helps mom and dad out all the time. Dave and Mark live out of state. Other than a visit or two a year, they are not involved in mom and dad’s daily life.
Marge and Walter have a cottage down the Cape, in addition to their primary home,. Beth and her family look forward to weekend visits in the summer. Her children feel like it’s their summer home because they spent so much time there with Nana and Grandpa. Due to distance and their own busy lives, Dave and Mark haven’t been to the cottage since they were little.
If Marge and Walter had an I Love You will, what do think would happen to the Cape cottage, after they both pass? Beth would want to continue to use the cottage. She might even feel like the cottage should be hers. Dave and Mark do not want the cottage and could really use the money. Would mom and dad want their children fighting over the cottage or at the very least have bad feelings amongst them? What happens to the primary residence as well?
There are alternatives to an “I Love You” will. An experienced estate planning attorney can explain your options and counsel you on how to best achieve you wishes. Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Plan your Estate and your wishes will come True.