A mutual will is an agreement between two will makers where they basically decide that neither of them will change their will without the other person’s consent. It can be in writing or by verbal agreement.
The purpose of a mutual will is to ensure that the estate flows to the intended agreed beneficiaries. They are generally used to ensure that a will maker’s estate can be enjoyed by another in their lifetime but then passes to the third party – the ultimate beneficiary.
Two will makers were married but never had any children. The majority of their estate was given to them by the wife’s family. They both told the wife’s niece and nephew that they had named them as beneficiaries of their wills.
They were told on a number of occasions that they would receive the entirety of their estate when both passed away.
After the wife passed away the husband changed his will and gave part of the estate to other people in breach of the agreement they had previously.
In this circumstance, the niece and nephew can make a claim against the estate to force the original agreement between the two parties.