Whilst everyone should have a legal will, not all wills are the same. The growing complexities of today’s society, taxation laws and the expansion of superannuation mean that having a simple will alone may not ensure that your assets are passed on to your intended beneficiaries. We can assist you with all of your estate planning requirements from simple wills to complex trusts and can also help to prepare powers of attorney and enduring powers of guardianship to ensure that you are protected if you lose the ability to make decisions about your financial affairs or medical and lifestyle treatment. We can also help you to administer a deceased estate including obtaining a grant of probate or letters of administration.
What are Mutual Wills?
A Mutual Will is where two people make ‘mirror Wills’ and enter into a binding agreement which contains restrictions on either of them changing those Wills.
What is the effect of having a Mutual Will?
Typically the effect of such agreement will often be that the Willmakers will not be able to revoke or change their Wills without the consent of the other Willmaker or (after the first spouse’s death) the executors of the deceased spouse’s Will.
When might they be useful?
Mutual Wills afford greater certainty to Willmakers that the wishes of the spouse who dies first will be honoured on the death of the surviving spouse.
The main advantage is that they protect the interests of your intended beneficiaries and ensure your estate is distributed in accordance with your agreed intentions.
Mutual Wills are often used in second or third marriages where there are children from their previous relationships.
Proceed with caution
Whilst they sound good in theory, Mutual Wills can impose limitations and can be inflexible. Other options might be more desirable depending on your specific circumstances.
Are there any other options available?
If you would like to know more about Mutual Wills contact Donlan Lawyers to assist you.