Joint Will Law and Legal Definition

A joint will is a single testamentary instrument recording the wishes of two persons. For example, a husband and wife disposing common property. In relation to each signatory's property, the will become effective on his/or her death. Each party can revoke the will during his/her lifetime. A joint will is merely an administrative convenience. A joint will makes separate distribution of property by each executor and will be treated as such on admission to probate. A joint will prevents the second person from changing his/her mind after executing the will.

A joint will is different from mutual will. Mutual wills are any two or more wills which are mutually binding. In mutual will, following the first death, the survivor is constrained to dispose of his/her property by the agreement made with the deceased.