Mutual Wills

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Mutual or Mirror Will – which is right for you?

It’s common for partners and spouses to visit us together to discuss their Estate planning. Depending on the circumstances, it might be appropriate for you to make either mutual or mirror Wills. It’s important not to confuse the two.

Mutual Wills are different in that there is a binding agreement between the individuals to have their Wills in particular terms, which prohibits them from changing the terms without the other’s permission or after the death of the survivor. Mutual Wills are often identical in terms, but not always. They are common in couples involving blended families to prevent the survivor from disinheriting their step-children, if the biological parent dies first.

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Mirror wills are identical in their terms. For example, a husband and wife who leave their entire estate to each other and then on the death of the survivor, to their children equally. These are the Wills commonly made by couples.

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Is a Mutual Will right for my circumstances?

Mutual Wills aren’t suitable for all families, so it’s important to seek expert legal advice.

As with all agreements, they are sometimes deliberately or inadvertently breached. This might occur if one party changes their Mutual Will without the knowledge of the other.

If that happens, and certain individuals receive less (or no) inheritance, those individuals (often step-children) may be entitled to bring an action to enforce the ‘Mutual Wills contract’ so that the proper inheritance is made to them.

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Our track record in Mutual Will disputes

We have a long history of acting for clients in these types of disputes. This includes acting for the successful party in one of Australia’s earliest and leading case authorities, Bigg v Queensland Trustees Limited.

We have a range of fee options depending on your circumstances, including deferred payment and speculative (‘no win no fee’) arrangements.

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Plan your next move

If you need advice about your Estate planning or a Mutual Will dispute, please contact us today.

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Don’t wait any longer to get the right advice

All of our lawyers are highly specialised and experienced in their area of law
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