As a law firm specialising in contested probate perhaps one of the most frequent areas of contention arises when the Deceased had Children from two different marriages.
The typical scenario is that the Deceased having remarried leaves everything to the second spouse, who may well have no connection with the Children from the first marriage. Upon the death of the surviving spouse it may well be the case that a new will is made which subsequently leaves little or doing to the surviving spouse’s Husband or wife’ s children.
If children from different marriages exist, something known as a mutual will can be drafted.
These types of wills are relatively rare and arise when two testators ( the name given to the person making the will ) both agree to draft wills leaving each other reciprocal / identical benefits to the same set of beneficiaries. To be valid there must be an agreement between the persons making the wills that they cannot be revoked. For these reasons they can often be quite useful in ensuring protection to children from separate marriages. The difficulty often faced with mutual wills is that of the understanding by the testator that it cannot be revoked.