mutual wills


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mutual wills

n. wills made by two people (usually spouses, but could be "partners") in which each gives his/her estate to the other, or with dispositions they both agree upon. A later change by either party is valid unless it can be proved that there was a contract in which each made his/her will in the consideration for the other person making his/her will as written. (See: mirror wills)

mutual wills

wills made by two persons who, in pursuance of an antecedent agreement, leave their estates reciprocally to the survivor. In English law, either will may be revoked during the joint lifetimes of the testators, but equity will specifically enforce the mutual wills agreement (thereby effectively making revocation by the survivor impossible) after the death of one of the parties.
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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.
These cases show it is important to understand the difference between Mirror Wills (which can be changed) and Mutual Wills (which cannot).
In 2003, three years after the mutual wills were executed, Robert died.
The court reasoned that the existence of mutual wills gives rise to a presumption of a contract.
The mutual wills showed the existence of a contract and the beneficiaries named in those wills were entitled to the assets; see Godwin.
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.
The doctrine of mutual wills also operates in support of contracts for the benefit of third parties.
CONTENTS I The Context for Reflection II The Doctrine of Mutual Wills A Definitions and Differences B Elements of the Doctrine C Why Make Mutual Wills?
Particular issues for seniors include reviewing a will regularly to ensure beneficiaries still survive, exploring options for trusts for grandchildren, and properly managing later life relationships: life estates and mutual wills may be appropriate options.
The elderly couple had made mutual wills appointing the other as sole executor to their assets.
It has been more than 200 years since the leading case on mutual wills was handed down in Dufour v Pereira.
They executed mutual wills, both of which provided that, if a disclaimer was made by the decedent, the disclaimed portion of the estate would go into a trust.