What is an “I Love You” Will?

Recently, someone asked me to explain to them what it means to have an "I Love You" Will. This is a very good question, and I thought that there might be a few more folks out there who could benefit from an explanation. So, let me take a moment to explain what this means.

An "I Love You" Will is just a simple will that passes on everything to your spouse, and/or other loved one(s). There is no trust planning, no incapacity protection, just a basic instruction that distributes your wealth and property outright after you die.

It sounds simple. Simple is good...right? Well, not so fast! Before you rush off and tell your estate planning lawyer that you need an "I Love You" Will drafted, you should ask yourself some questions:

  • Do I want my loved ones to have to ask the court for my money and pay the court for the time spent doing so? If the answer is no, then an "I Love You" Will may not be a good idea for you, since your loved ones will have to go through probate to receive any distributions. The bottom line is that if you want to impose some conditions on their receipt of your hard-earned wealth, there are cheaper and more effective alternatives you should explore (e.g. trust planning - if you want more information on trust planning click here).
  • Do I want to expose the inheritance I leave to my loved ones to creditors and predators? Again, if the answer is no, then an "I Love You" Will may not be the appropriate tool for you.
  • Is it important to me or my loved ones that my financial affairs be kept private? If so, then using an "I Love You" Will may not be the best way to do your estate planning.
  • Do I want to decide who will take care of my kids or elderly parents and how they will be taken care of if something happens to me, or do I want the courts to make those decisions for me? If the answer is that you want to be in charge of these decisions then you should know that an "I Love You" Will will not be enough to make sure this happens.

The point here is that an "I Love You" Will can provide you with a false sense of security, and put your loved ones in a bind. Regardless of how much money or property you have, don't make the mistake of thinking that this is the only way to effectively pass on your hard-earned wealth.

If this is important to you and you want to learn more about wills in general, then you may want to visit our website by clicking here. Or, for information that is specific to your circumstances and more personalized attention, you can contact a Connecticut Estate Planning Attorney for a consultation by clicking here.

Categories: Estate Planning, Probate, Wills