Estate Planning And Spouses: Is A Joint Will A Good Idea?
The option for creating a joint Will exists in some jurisdictions, and this is why the topic is still discussed
in many law school courses. However, some states don’t recognize the validity of joint Wills, and most
reputable estate planning attorneys will advise against them. Just because you love one another, and
perhaps even plan to be buried in the same plot, does not mean that a joint Will is a good idea. Spouses
share many things, but a Will should not be one of them.
Joint Wills Are Complicated
A joint Will is often long and complicated. Wills deal with the disposition of assets, property, money, and
other matters of interest, and compounding the combined and separate interests of both spouses is
bound to create some headaches for the couple, their children, and potentially, the probate court. Even
if your separate Wills wind up looking and sounding similar, it is a good idea to create a Will for each
spouse, addressing their individual desires.
Why Estate Planning Attorneys Advise Against Joint Wills
First of all, spouses do not typically die at the same time. Unless the joint Will contains a provision
recognized by the probate court, there is a chance that the surviving spouse will not benefit from any
inheritance provided in a joint will. The surviving spouse could also experience additional loss if
provisions for separate property are not adequately addressed.
In this day and age, most married couples have separate concerns that they must address during the
estate planning process. They might hold separate property. They may want to provide for an ex-spouse
or children from former relationships. They might even have separate financial holdings and separate
interests such as charitable organizations in which one spouse has more ties to than the other. Separate
Wills ensure that the needs and wishes of each spouse are individually addressed and few problems
arise when the Will goes to probate.
Experienced estate planning attorneys Brooklyn NY of the Minko Law Office offers estate planning and
business planning resources to residents of Brooklyn NY. To learn more about these free resources,
please visit www.minkolaw.com/ today.