Definition: Mutual Wills

A mutual will is a will that is made pursuant to an agreement between two testators as to how their property will be distributed after both have died. The agreement and the wills may be combined into one document as joint wills. Once one of the testators dies and the survivor elects to take property under the provisions of a mutual will, the survivor is obligated to honor the disposition of the survivor’s property as stated in the mutual will.1

If you and another person intend to make mutual wills, special care must be taken to ensure that your shared intent is unambiguously expressed in the wills to reduce the likelihood that litigation is required to enforce your intent.

Mutual wills should not be confused with joint wills or mirror wills.