Joint Wills

There are many types of wills available for people to choose from when considering where they want their assets to go upon their passing. One of these wills, called a joint will, is a will created between two people, typically a married couple. Joint wills are essentially a contract in which one person is designated to inherit the assets of the other person, depending on who passes away first. The second part of the will designates what will happen to these assets in the event of the surviving person’s death.

If you are considering drawing up a joint will, it may be wise to have the counsel of an experienced estate planning attorney. The Houston estate planning attorneys at Garg & Associates, P.C., are knowledgeable in all aspects of estate planning, and can help you make the right choices when it comes to managing the affairs of your estate. Contact our offices today at 800-242-2151 to learn more.

Pros of Drafting a Joint Will

When a joint will is made, it creates a binding contract which ensures that the decisions made when that will is created are not changed, even after one individual passes. So if, for example, a spouse wishes to ensure that their children will receive the inheritance after both testators (individuals creating the will) pass, they can specify that in the will. Once that is written into the will, the surviving spouse will be unable to choose to pass the inheritance on to anyone else, such as a step-child from a new marriage or a new spouse. Thus the joint will protects the wishes of the person who passes first.

Cons of Drafting a Joint Will

The main disadvantage of a joint will is actually the same as its advantage, except in this case it is when the set-in-stone plans for the estate backfire. A joint will closes off the option of changing the terms of the will due to unforeseen or changing circumstances. A typical example would be if the person specified to receive the inheritance were to marry into wealth and no longer has need for additional financial assistance. Another example could pertain to assets being passed on to a charity which falls out of favor with the surviving testator. With joint wills, it is very difficult to change the terms despite changing circumstances.

Contact Us

If you are considering drafting a joint will, the Houston estate planning lawyers of Garg & Associates, P.C., can provide you with sound legal counsel. To speak with one of our experienced estate planning attorneys, contact our office today at 800-242-2151.

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Garg & Associates, PC | 21 Waterway Avenue, Suite 300 | The Woodlands, Texas 77380 Please call 281-362-2865 | Fax: 866-743-4506
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Land, River Oaks, Alief, Stafford, Missouri City, and Southwest Houston Texas.