On August 10, 2010, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, determined that a third-party beneficiary is entitled to enforce a contract embedded in a mutual will
before the death of the surviving spouse.
The North Carolina Court of Appeals held that Helen's second will was valid, because the mutual will
placed no contractual obligation on her to refrain from executing a new will; see Est.
But its first clear acceptance, and of mutual will
at that, appears in the records of those quintessentially "urban (middle-class)" Jews of the eighth and ninth centuries, the Karaites, a product of what has been called the Judaeo-Islamic symbiosis at the height of its medieval flowering.
For example, the Dutch abandoned the use of the mutual will
(which was written jointly by both spouses) by the 1690s, but Dutch men continued to use their legal prerogatives under the common law to ensure their widow's authority over the family estate and postpone their children's inheritance until her death.
Denny's son took the matter to the Court of Appeal who found that Laura and Denny's agreement made their wills Mutual Wills
and it would be unfair to allow Laura to change her will after Denny's death.