Definition

Joint Will

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What is joint will?

A joint will refers to a will that is signed and wrote by two or more people with mutual understanding. Generally, a joint will is written by a married couple, leaving their assets such as property, cash etc. to each other. It is an agreement that combine individual wills into a single unit.

Summary
  • A joint will refers to a will that is signed and wrote by two or more people with the mutual understanding.
  • A joint will cannot be changed by the surviving partner.
  • A joint will continue even if the surviving partner remarries or has more children.

 

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Understanding Joint Will

A joint will can be defined as a legal document (agreement) which is made by two (or more) people, and which combine their separate wills into a one, merged last will and testament. Like other wills, a joint will also let the makers of the will decide the name to which their property and assets will go after their death. Generally, joint wills are created by married couples, which is often state that after the death of one spouse, all the assets including property, cash will be belonged to surviving spouse and after the death of surviving spouse all the assets will go to the children of the couple. Just like a contract, a joint will cannot be changed like a regular will.

A joint will cannot be changed or revoked without the consent of both the parties. That is the reason people found a joint will attractive. It prevents the surviving partner from changing his or her mind after the death of first partner. It will remain continue even if the surviving partner remarries or has more children.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the demerit of joint will?

Generally, joint will is opted by married couples as it is one of the best options to make sure the financial stability in the absence partner (after death) of his/her. In the case of one of the partner passes away first joint will make sure the future security (financial security) of the surviving partner. Joint wills are considered to be common estate-planning strategy but now days most of the lawyers of estate planning said that joint wills are often create more problems instead of solving the problems. There are many situations where joint wills become burdensome.

When a couple makes a joint will it states that after the death of any partner, all the property, cash etc. will go to the surviving partner or their children. For instance, a couple make a joint will where they clearly state that in the case of death of any partner all the property including cash, home will to the surviving partner and their daughters. After some one of the partner passes away and the surviving partner need money to bear its medical expenses and wanted to sell their home to bear the expenses. In that situation, it is very difficult to sell the home because in joint will it clearly state that the home would also go to their daughters. Therefore, the surviving partner cannot take the sell their home without the consent of their daughters. The surviving partners also can’t change the will as it makes by the consent of the couple or only can change with the consent of both the partners.

How a joint will is different from a mirror will?

Joint will and mirror will are somewhat similar but still have some differences. In a joint will, both the partners come into a legal agreement with their consent and form a single document. On the other side, mirror wills refers to a pair of almost alike wills. In a mirror will, a partner or both the partners can name his or her partner as their primary beneficiary while all other terms would remain the same. In the joint will once any of them partner passes away; the surviving partner cannot change the will whereas, a partner can change the mirror will without the consent or permission of the other partner. We can say that a joint will is inflexible and the mirror wills have flexibility to change the will.

How does a joint will work?

The joint will is similar to a standard will. Joint will also state that what will happen with the assets of the issuers of the joint will after their death. The only difference is that two persons have signed the will and agreed to obey by the different terms of the will. Married couples are the most common signees of the joint wills, where all the property goes to the surviving partner when the one spouse dies. In the case of death of the second spouse, all the property goes to their children as per the will’s term.

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