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Should you only name a spouse as an heir?

On Behalf of | May 24, 2024 | Wills |

If you just recently got married, you probably have no one in mind that you want to give all of your property to except for your spouse. Naturally, you might find it easy to just write up a small will that passes your estate to your husband or wife. However, there are reasons to consider broadening your range of heirs.

Rationales for naming multiple heirs usually involve keeping control over who inherits your estate or due to changing family dynamics, such as having children, that bring in more prospective heirs.

The possible incapacitation of a spouse

You and your spouse may live for a long time together. By the time of your death, your wife or husband could be in older years and lack the capacity to manage their finances. This might cause control of your estate to pass to someone else who will handle it on behalf of your loved one, someone you might not approve of.

You could name other heirs in your will to disperse some of your estate to younger individuals, particularly if you end up having children. You might also create a trust for your spouse. In the event of incapacity or infirmity, you may ensure that someone you have confidence in will manage the assets on behalf of your spouse.

Dispersal of your estate to unplanned heirs

Even if you later have children, you might have confidence that your spouse will someday pass your assets to your offspring. However, many life events could happen after your death. Your spouse could find a new life partner, have stepchildren, or conceive new biological children with a new partner or spouse.

The result is that some of your estate could end up in the hands of a new spouse, stepchildren or your spouse’s children from a second relationship. Your will could name your children to get around this problem, or you may also compose a trust for your offspring or whoever else you designate.

Making a will can be a simple matter when one other person is a prospective heir. However, life brings a multitude of changes, which can often necessitate implementing a more complex will or complementary methods such as a trust to create a comprehensive plan.

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