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.