Joint vs Mirror Last Will and Testament

Thinking About Preparing a Joint Will? Think Again.

October 28, 2014

Joint Last Will and Testament 

Many people who are thinking about family planning and estate planning have heard the term “joint will.” In the simplest terms, a joint will is a single last will and testament document prepared by two people, to provide instructions as to their final wishes.

In the past, it was a relatively common practice to prepare a joint will. But as times have changed and family circumstances and structures have become more complex, joint wills are rarely used today. In fact, most family planning and estate planning professionals discourage the use of joint wills.

The biggest problem with a joint will is its inflexibility – especially when your family circumstances have changed. It is close to impossible to adjust to or change a joint will to accommodate future wishes that may arise after the death of one of the joint testators. Often, because your deceased spouse is no longer alive to approve any changes, property mentioned in the joint will can be tied up in the joint will for years.

Let’s take an example. You and your spouse decide to prepare a joint will. Your spouse passes away before you do. If you decide to get married again or have more children, you cannot simply change the joint will to include your new children or new spouse, or otherwise leave property in your new will that was tied up in your old joint will. Why? You do not have a sole interest in the property at issue to be able to decide what happens to the property. Moreover, your spouse – whose beneficiaries have an interest in the property - is no longer alive to give permission for you to change her/his wishes.

Mirror Wills

If your goal is to leave the exact same things to each other, consider creating mirror wills. Mirror wills are separate documents that allow you to leave your estates to one another, and then when both of you pass away, to the same beneficiaries. Should one of you pass away, the other can easily change her/his own will to accommodate any changes in circumstances.

Gift A Will Promise And Guarantee

Special Offer Special Offer

Police, Firefighters, Armed Forces & Educators Save $30

Learn More

©, LLC. All rights reserved. 
     1302 Waugh Drive #178
, HoustonTexas 77019
| Phone: 1-877-947-WILL (9455)
| Blog | Sitemap 

Disclaimer: is an online self-help tool that provides general information and software only. is not a law firm and is not a substitute for an attorney or law firm. cannot provide any advice, explanation, opinion, or recommendations about possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, options, selection of forms or strategies. Communications between you and are protected by our Privacy Policy but not by the attorney-client privilege. Your access to the website is subject to our Terms of Use.