Trusts and Estates
Mutual wills – navigating some nightmare scenarios
Mutual wills appear to be less common than they were. This is probably a good thing. There are few doctrines in the private
client world that give rise to more trouble or whose exact workings are more opaque. The attraction of mutual wills is they
speak to a very human desire: to control what happens after we die. As a result, there are a good number in existence and
people continue occasionally to create them. The difficulties with them tend to arise when they collide with another very
human characteristic: a propensity to change one’s mind. This short article focuses on a few particular difficulties that
can arise in the administration of the estate of someone who entered into a mutual wills agreement.