The main reason why individuals make a mutual will is where both testers want to ensure that certain beneficiaries benefit from their estate after the death of the second tester. This is often what the deceased will be stuck on, although the order after the death of the first of them is totally inflexible. It would be customary to have something in writing that confirms that the will must be reciprocal. Conversely, there will very often be in a mirror a provision confirming that the will is not conceived as a mutual will. If the surviving spouse has a mutual will with his deceased spouse, he is prohibited from changing his will in one way or another to accommodate their new marriage. They will not be able to provide for a new spouse, even if it is envisaged to support the new spouse from the surviving spouse part of the pool, while continuing to provide for the children of the deceased spouse in the same way as provided by mutual will. Unsurprisingly, the Lorraine children were shocked after Ian`s death in 2018 when they discovered that after their mother`s death, Ian had made two more wills and left them nothing. They then asked the High Court for part of Ian`s estate. Mutual will is an interesting and complex concept in estate planning.
Although they are not infallible, they may not be without their place. Step families and mixed families pose particular challenges in succession planning. In their lifetime, parents will accumulate property and property in a family that is not or mixed. Most of the time, parents will prefer and expect that the survivor, after the death of one of them, will benefit from the fruits of his work, and that after the death of the surviving parents, their children collectively enjoy an inheritance (organic, adopted and step-child). Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Indeed, the surviving parent can make a subsequent will that hereditary the children of their deceased partner, which benefits their biological children more. It is important to respect the limits of this agreement. The surviving spouse can still spend the family wealth or give it away during his or her lifetime.
The only limitation is that any wealth that remains when the surviving spouse dies must go to the beneficiaries affected in the mutual will. A reciprocal will is established in a circumstance where will-makers enter into a legally binding agreement before the establishment of the will to establish wills under certain conditions and not to revoke or modify wills. If one of the will-maker dies, the rest of the will is contractually obliged not to change his will. If the creator of the surviving will then changed his will, a court, if it was established that the reciprocal wills were established, would impose the agreement. After Lorraine`s death and after buying more property, Ian made two more wills. The first of them left the property of his granddaughter and lifeless, as well as his children and children of Lorraine. His last wishes revoke all other wills before that, making his son the executor of his estate, leaving everything to his own children and nothing to the children of Lorraine. This list is not exhaustive and is not limited to husbands and wives.
Reciprocal wills can be made between two people who wish to commit to an estate plan.