Mutual Will


DEFINITION of 'Mutual Will'

A type of will, usually executed by a married or seriously committed couple, that is mutually binding. After one party dies, the remaining party is bound by the terms of the mutual will. The purpose is often to make sure property passes to one's children rather than to a new spouse. Because of state differences in contract law, a mutual will should be established with the help of a legal professional.

Though the terms sound similar, a mutual will should not be confused with a joint will.


For example, John and Alice create mutual wills. John dies and his property passes to Alice. Alice takes a new husband, Jay. When Alice dies, because of an agreement made in the mutual will, her property will not pass to Jay. Instead, it will go to John and Alice's children.

  1. Duress

    The act of using force, false imprisonment, coercion, threats ...
  2. Estate Planning

    The collection of preparation tasks that serve to manage an individual's ...
  3. Heir

    HeirA person who inherits some or all of the estate of another ...
  4. Beneficiary

    Anybody who gains an advantage and/or profits from something. ...
  5. Will

    A legally enforceable declaration of how a person wishes his ...
  6. Marital Property

    A U.S. state-level legal distinction of a married individual's ...
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    How To Choose The Right Executor For Your Estate

    Making a careful choice now can save your heirs from a lot of problems later.
  2. Retirement

    Why You Should Draft A Will

    Don't trust the courts to follow your wishes - plan the distribution of your own assets.
  3. Options & Futures

    Your Will: Why You Need A Power Of Attorney And Beneficiaries

    What would happen if you were suddenly unable to manage your financial affairs? Preparation is the best protection.
  4. Personal Finance

    The Ten Commandments of Personal Finance

    Here are the simple financial Ten Commandments that, when faithfully followed, can lead to a secure economic future.
  5. Investing Basics

    Do You Need More Than One Financial Advisor?

    Using more than one financial advisor for money management has its pros and cons.
  6. Insurance

    Cashing in Your Life Insurance Policy

    Tough times call for desperate measures, but is raiding your life insurance policy even worth considering?
  7. Savings

    How To Set Up A Trust Fund If You're Not Rich

    You don't need to be worth millions to create your own trust fund. Learn how your money can be handled in the event of your death.
  8. Financial Advisors

    Passing an IRA to a Trust: The Good and Bad

    Creating a trust is a common estate planning tactic, but naming a beneficiary to an IRA to a trust may have unintended consequences.
  9. Investing

    How the Rothschild Family Created Their Wealth

    An overview of how the Rothschild dynasty became one of the most powerful families in the world.
  10. Retirement

    5 Reasons Retirees Are Upsizing Instead of Downsizing Their Homes

    Many retirees opt to downsize to save money, but there are many who are doing the opposite and upsizing.
  1. Are estate planning fees tax deductible?

    Estate planning fees may be tax deductible, but only if certain conditions have been met. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can personal loans be included in bankruptcy?

    Personal loans from friends, family and employers fall under common categories of debt that can be discharged in the case ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How much money does Texas make from unclaimed property each year?

    In 2014, the office of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts reported $234 million in unclaimed property claimant liabilities, ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How much money does Michigan make from unclaimed property each year?

    According to the 2013-2014 Annual Report of the State Treasurer, the state of Michigan earned only $82,875 in abandoned and ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Who decides if a financial security should be escheated?

    There is no one entity who "decides" to escheat assets. Rather, financial institutions are required to report inactive accounts ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What financial assets can be escheated?

    Any financial assets you hold at a bank or investment or brokerage firm can be escheated by the state government if your ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Bar Chart

    A style of chart used by some technical analysts, on which, as illustrated below, the top of the vertical line indicates ...
  2. Bullish Engulfing Pattern

    A chart pattern that forms when a small black candlestick is followed by a large white candlestick that completely eclipses ...
  3. Cyber Monday

    An expression used in online retailing to describe the Monday following U.S. Thanksgiving weekend. Cyber Monday is generally ...
  4. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
Trading Center