Different Types of Wills for Couples/Partners
LA Probate Law explains that there are a multitude of different wills that outline the same basic premise of leaving ones possessions to their significant other. While many people assume that if they should pass, their possessions are automatically bequeathed to their spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, or partner. While that may be the case in most situations, nothing is guaranteed unless you visit an estate planning professional, such as LA Probate Law, and have an official will drawn up. Especially if you aren’t married, whether you have a hetero or homosexual relationship, you should have one of the following wills designed to outline your wishes and ensure that the legal system protects you and your wishes, because without legal resources, such as a last will and testament, the probate law system may work in contradiction of your wishes, simply because you didn’t take a little time to prepare your estate. The following are different types of wills for you to consider.
Joint wills encompass two parties, usually a couple, whether married or not, that typically states that the surviving member become executor and will obtain possession of most or all of the deceased’s valuables. It can also stipulate that third parties receive any keepsakes or any other valuables, usually delivered and followed through by the executor or surviving member of couple. These wills also protect children from previous marriages and are especially prudent in legality. These wills are signed by both parties and obviously need stipulations for unfortunate situations in which both individuals meet an untimely demise, such as a car accident. Another important note, if one party revokes their inclusion, the non-revoking party is still legally bound (until they revoke as well) to the joint will and their possessions will be executed and followed through as previously stipulated. These wills are a viable option and further consultation with an estate planning professional, like the professionals at LA Probate Law, can outline the details and recommend if a joint will is the right fit for you and your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, and/or partner.
In some cases LA Probate Law, or a corresponding estate planning professional or probate lawyer my recommend a mirror will. While somewhat similar in final execution as a joint will, a mirror will is actually a multitude of wills (usually 2 wills in the case of a couple) that mirror each other and basically state the same thing, flip flopping the name of the protected party, the executor and main recipient of the estate. Reasons for having a different option are multiple, usually one is recommended over the other relating to the state probate laws and which one will be the easiest and fastest to execute, with minimal court and legal interference. In most cases, these wills stipulate that one’s spouse or partner will receive the entirety of the departed’s estate. Although there can be other beneficiaries named and the spouse, partner, boyfriend, or girlfriend being named executor and being responsible for honoring the wishes of their loved one. The best way to determine which set up is proper for your situation, and which format is best in relation to your individual states probate law, seek consultation from an estate planning professional. In most cases a few simple questions or short interview will give a probate lawyer all the information he or she needs to guide you to your best suited opportunity. With all estate planning situations, the legal help provided by an experienced attorney will make everything easier for everyone and is highly recommended for anyone looking to decrease the burden should they meet an untimely demise.
Mutual Wills are a third option for couples, spouses, and/or partners. While all three of these wills are similar in execution, there are subtle differences in each, as explained by LA Probate Law. Mutual wills are not solely relegated to two people either (where as joint and mirrored wills are usually endorsed by two parties). Don’t misunderstand, mutual wills are usually a two party endeavor, but if you find yourself in a situation where you need to protect yourself and must include more than one party for the majority of your estate, such as if you live with a significant other and a best friend or you have a romantic relationship which includes more than one other partner, a mirrored will or joint will would not suffice as well as a mutual will. Another reason for choosing a mutual will over a mirrored will would be if there are stark differences in situations between the couple and more than subtle differences are required in the verbiage of the two parties estate planning. On the down side, mutual wills are usually the toughest to revise and in many cases are irrevocable. That doesn’t mean this is not your best option. There is a reason there are so many options and what all preparing individuals (or couples) are implored to do is; see an estate planning professional or consult with a probate lawyer. This is the best way to lay the foundation of your desires with someone who is familiar with individual state laws and can best guide you to the path of least resistance. Put the law and process on your side by careful planning and diligent research, you’ll find, with the right help, it’s easier than you would think.
Different Types of Wills for Couples/Partners
Latest posts by Scott Schomer, Estate Planning Attorney (see all)
- Understand the Limitations of Social Security and Medi-Cal - May 5, 2019
- Basic Estate Plan Components - May 4, 2019
- Estate Planning and Remarriage - May 3, 2019