Joint Wills and Mirror Wills Difference
Published on 8th June, 2016 by Benjamin Li Yong Le
Should you do a joint Will which is one single Will executed by two parties?
Joint wills which are also known as mutual wills refers to ONE single Will executed by a married couple to ensure that their property is disposed of identically.
At L’Avocat Law, we do not draft joint Wills and strongly discourage people from doing so as there are many disadvantages.
The Wills drafting course conducted by the Law Society of Singapore also warns us against drafting joint wills. It is also unclear and uncertain whether Singapore Courts will recognise, uphold and enforce joint wills.
The surviving spouse may live for many years after the first persons’s death. Therefore, it is impractical to bind the surviving testator to a joint will that cannot be revised to take into account changes that will invariably happen after the death of one party.
Further, there is nothing to stop a husband from executing a new Will to revoke his joint Will to distribute his assets in another way or even to a mistress!
A more practical solution for couples who want to distribute their assets in the same way (e.g. all to spouse and if spouse dies then equally among childen / equally to children and siblings) is to do mirror Wills.
Mirror Wills are separate Wills executed by a married couple which will distribute the assets in the same way whoever dies first. The cost for doing mirror wills at L’Avocat Law is $360 ($180 x 2) and we are unable to offer discounts.
For example, the husband can state that if he dies first, then all his assets go to his wife and if the wife dies first then equally among childen. Then the wife executes a mirror Will that all her assets go to her husband if she dies first and is husband dies first then equally among children.