‘My husband and I signed a joint will without legal advice. Should we worry?’

Aug 03, 2019
Is it a gamble to combine two wills into one, without taking legal advice? Money Club expert Brian Herd cautions against it due to the legal issues it can create. Source: Getty.

A. My husband and I made a joint will signed by two witnesses without having to see any legal professionals. Will this have a legal standing when one or both of us die?

Q. I assume by referring to a ‘joint will’ you mean that you and your husband signed one document i.e. a will, intending it to apply to both of you. In other words, you combined your wills into one document. While this is possible, it is also rare and fraught with ‘issues’. Some of these include the fact that while you may make the will together, most couples don’t die together.

Many couples have separate assets which are hard to deal with in a joint will, not to mention that you usually can’t change a joint will without the consent of the other joint will maker. Given you also did the document without legal advice, it may be false economy on your part because in doing so, it’s possible you have created a ‘lawyer’s picnic’ for later on.

My strong suggestion is you get a good lawyer to review what you’ve done, as, cost/benefit wise it may well be worth the expense.

If you have a question for Starts at 60’s money experts, email it to [email protected].

Important information: The information provided on this website is of a general nature and for information purposes only. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is not financial product advice and must not be relied upon as such. Before making any financial decision you should determine whether the information is appropriate in terms of your particular circumstances and seek advice from an independent licensed financial services professional.

Financial information that's key to your retirement lifestyle

Sign up to our weekly newsletter for more great financial information

Leave your comment

Please sign in to post a comment.
Retrieving conversation…