In traditional nuclear families especially, both spouses often have a desire to draft joint wills that give everything to their surviving spouse and then an equal distribution to their children. This gives rise to the intuitive question: Is it wise to draft a single will instrument that is on behalf of two separate persons, such as a husband and wife?
While a joint will is legal in most states, it is almost never wise to do so.
There are three primary reasons why spouses should not execute a joint will:
The first is that it could be regarded as a “contractual will”, complicating efforts to make changes after one of the spouses dies. Ordinarily, the great discretionary power in having a will is that you may change it at any time so long as you are alive, of sound mind, and elect to do so. In some states that adopt … Read the rest of this article!