Interesting issues come up every day in estate planning. One of these issues is whether or not joint wills are enforceable between a husband and wife. You and your spouse may execute your will, and both your wills may have the same thing that happens to the remaining assets when both of you are gone, typically split among your children or other family members. The question is, after one spouse dies, does the surviving spouse have the ability to change what they had initially agreed upon?

According to AllLaw, the surviving spouse may want to have that flexibility. Maybe it turns out that one child needs more or another child has become a disappointment. Other times, however, you want to make sure that your wishes are going to be respected. Say, for example, one family member includes a sibling in their final disposition or maybe there are children from a prior marriage, and the spouse wants to make sure that if they pass away, their child will be taken care of. In cases like that, you need to be certain that you have arranged for there to be an irrevocable agreement between the parties that your wishes are going to be respected.

There are laws that assume that is not the case. You just create the typical will and you do not think about it any further. The surviving spouse could then do whatever they wish. And if you want to make sure it is going to be enforceable, you have to take another step. You have to make sure that you have provided a way for those wills to be irrevocable, and you can do that by including that in the will or even having a separate contract.