As Big Canoe News points out in “A joint will is not a bargain BOGO,” the surviving spouse is almost never required to follow the terms of the joint will if he or she does not want to. What sometimes ends up happening is that the surviving spouse lives many years longer and at some point decides to divide his or her estate differently. There is nothing stopping the surviving spouse from doing just that. A new will can be created and it can override the joint will.

Thus, whether or not a joint will is a good deal depends on how long one spouse will outlive the other and how committed that spouse is to the terms of the joint will.

An estate planning attorney can guide you through the process.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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