UK Accounting Glossary
A joint will is a type of legal agreement, in which property is distributed according to a will without the right to survivorship. According to a joint will agreement, the distribution of assets is predetermined by a joint will regardless of who dies first. A joint will is common among married couples, though legally a joint will can apply to any two people who intend to become each other’s beneficiaries according to a stipulated will. Like other legal contracts, a joint will has its benefits and drawbacks. On the plus side, a joint will prevents the surviving person from using the estate in ways that contradict the terms of the joint will contract. Thus, for example, should the surviving spouse decide to remarry, a joint will contract may block him or her from granting the estate to the new spouse or stepchildren. A negative of a joint will is its constricting nature and inability to accommodate changing life circumstances.
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This glossary post was last updated: 9th February 2020.