Can You and Your Spouse Draft a Joint Will?
When it comes to make estate provisions, the options can seem limitless and overwhelming. Should you draft a will? A trust? How can you be sure your loved ones are taken care of? In many situations, individuals seek to simplify the process. They do not have large families and want only to leave their assets to their spouse. In these situations, they may want to draft a joint will.
Joint wills are usually co-drafted by spouses and are set up to leave everything to the other. The will then dictates what will happen to the estate once the second spouse dies. The advantage of this type of will, aside from being simple, is that it prevents a surviving party from changing his or her mind about what should happen to the couple’s property after that person dies.
It is, however, exactly this advantage that these joint wills can be so troublesome. They are often drafted with the idea of “’til death do us part” in mind, but rarely provide for what might happen next. In those situations, the joint will remains in place despite changes in circumstance for the surviving spouse. For instance, if that remaining spouse were to remarry and even go on to have children with that new spouse, the joint will would nonetheless remain in place, preventing the surviving spouse from bequeathing any assets of the original marital estate to those children or that spouse.
Ultimately, it is probably best for you and your spouse to keep separate wills. These wills can reflect similar values, but will leave room for changes should one precede the other to the grave.
For assistance with creating your will, contact the respected Florida estate planning attorneys at Charles Law Office today.