A joint will is used when two people want to leave their real and personable property to each other when they die. The will provides that when one of the two people dies, the surviving person on the will inherits the property. The will also provides what happens to property after the second person on the will dies.
The benefit of a joint will is that each party to the will knows who will manage the property after each person dies. If a person wants to ensure that his or her property will descend to heirs per his or her wishes, then a joint will can fulfill that desire. Often, a joint will is used by married couples to guarantee that after one spouse dies, the surviving spouse cannot leave the inherited property to a subsequent spouse or stepchildren.
A drawback to joint wills is they can tie up property for a long time over which circumstances can change and honoring the testator’s preferences may no longer be desired, feasible, or possible when the surviving testator dies.
An attorney knowledgeable about wills can answer your questions about joint will and other kinds of wills and advise you on which type best fits your needs and situation.
Retaining a lawyer to prepare your will can ensure that your property will be distributed according to your preferences, prevent confusion as to your wishes and the squabbling over property among family members that can occur when a person dies without a will.
Talk with a licensed professional attorney about how you want your estate handled.
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