Married couples who wish to secure their assets in a legally binding document are advised to set up a joint will. A joint will is a legal agreement between two individuals who have chosen to secure the future of their assets by establishing a joint will. The purpose of a joint will is to enable the couple to bequeath their property and assets to one another, and specify what will happen to the assets upon the death of both individuals.
Features of a joint will
There are a number of circumstances where people choose to set up a joint will. For example, a married couple living in the same home without any children may choose to set up a joint will if they wish to bequeath their assets to one another. In this situation, it makes far more sense to establish one joint will, rather than each individual setting up their own will. The couple are able to dictate what will happen to their property when either individual dies, and can also specify what will happen to the property and assets upon the death of both individuals.
A joint will is ideal as it ensures that the surviving individual cannot change their mind regarding what will happen to the couple’s property upon the death of the first individual. In some circumstances, an individual may be concerned that upon his or her death their partner may remarry and bequeath their assets to stepchildren and so on. In this respect, a joint will is the ideal solution.
Nevertheless joint wills are complex asset protection tools that can bind property for many years. This can cause complications, particularly if the remaining spouse’s life circumstances differ significantly during the consequent years after the death of their partner. In this respect it is often advised to set up two individual wills.