How to Leave Money in a Will to the Spouse of a Deceased Child

by Anna Assad
Be specific when writing the instructions in your will.

Be specific when writing the instructions in your will.

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When you write a will, you can include instructions for the division of your estate after your death, leaving money to your loved ones. A "bequest" is the term for a gift made in a will. If you want to leave a specific amount of money to the spouse of your deceased child, you will need to include either a general or specific bequest naming that beneficiary in the will. A general bequest is payable from the general assets of your estate rather than from a specific source whereas a specific bequest is an easily identifiable item of property distinct from other property in an estate; and a demonstrative bequest is a gift of a particular amount that comes from a source specified in the will.

Step 1

Decide how much money you want to leave to your deceased child's spouse. Consider the financial needs of all your beneficiaries as well as the approximate worth of your estate when designating money gifts.

Step 2

Choose where to insert the bequest in your will. Specific money and personal or real property gifts are usually the first bequests listed, before the larger bequests or a bequest that gives the rest of your estate to a named beneficiary.

Step 3

Add a general bequest for the spouse of your deceased child to your will, if you've decided to use that option. You may write in the dollar amount and the person's name using traditional will phrasing for a general bequest. For example, you might write a sentence such as, "I give, devise and bequeath the sum of $(amount) to (person's full legal name)." You may identify the nature of your relationship for further clarity by using wording such as, "I give, devise and bequeath the sum of $(amount) to (person's full legal name), the surviving spouse of (child's full legal name), my deceased child."

Step 4

Add a demonstrative bequest for your intended beneficiary instead of a general bequest if you want the money to come from a specific source. For example, if you are leaving the spouse money from the sale of your home, you may use wording similar to "I give, devise and bequeath the sum of $(amount) to (person's full legal name), to be paid out of the proceeds from the sale of my home at (full property address)." You may identify the nature of your relationship to the beneficiary if you wish.