What is a Joint Will?
A joint will is one in which a married couple (or two or more testators) execute an identical will jointly to ensure that their property is distributed in accordance with both of their wishes. This is written in a single document that complies with the formal requirements of drafting a will and takes effect as the separate wills of the people who made it.
Although joint will is rarely utilized in practice, joint wills can be suitable when they are used to exercise a joint power of appointment. But these days, the majority of will and probate lawyers prefer to discourage using this type of will because it can create a number of issues if one party passes away or wants to cancel the “joint will.”
Who are qualified to execute a Joint Will?
Any two or more individuals who are at least 21 years old and have the legal capacity to make a will can execute a joint will. This means that when signing the will, they must be of sound mind and not under duress or undue influence.
A joint will can be carried out by:
- Members of one’s family
- Business associates
- Asset co-ownership
It’s important to note that only parties who jointly hold assets may execute a joint will, and that the will solely applies to those assets.
Can a surviving spouse change the will?
Most joint wills also include a provision stating that neither spouse can change or revoke the will alone, which means that the will cannot be changed after the first spouse dies.
A traditional will is always revocable. A joint will, on the other hand, is a legally binding contract that cannot be revoked or changed after one spouse dies.
Is it a good idea for married couple to make a Joint Will?
Making a joint will is a personal decision that must be made based on your specific circumstances. A joint will can be useful in certain situations, such as when two people are married or in a long-term relationship and want to ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes when they die.
However, there are some disadvantages to consider:
∙ A joint will can only be revoked by all parties at the same time, so if one party changes theirmind about asset distribution, the will cannot be changed.
∙ When one party dies, the will for the remaining parties is automatically revoked, whichmaynot be desirable if the remaining party wishes to maintain the original distribution of assets. ∙ Joint wills only apply to assets held jointly, so if parties have different assets, theymustmake separate wills.
∙ A joint will can be more difficult to change than a single will.
Options rather than a Joint Will
Most spouses can easily create separate, revocable wills for straightforward situations. These individual wills typically stipulate that they may be revoked at any moment. Both couples’ flexibility is preserved in this way.
There are better ways to go about doing this if either spouse wants to impose specific obligations on the other in the event that one of them passes away first. You can achieve this goal without using a rigid joint will, for instance, if you want to ensure that your children inherit the family money rather than a potential future second wife or husband of your spouse.
Joint Will in Singapore
Who can Make a Joint Will in Singapore
Revocation of Joint Will