Highland Park, NJ asked in Estate Planning for Puerto Rico

Q: My parents are married, own a home in Puerto Rico and were told they had to make two individual wills. Is this correct?

My parents were told they have to make two living wills separately even though they are married. We are three children in total, one of which is my mothers child from a previous marriage. Both my parent's name are in the house documentation.

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2 Lawyer Answers

A: In American jurisprudence there is no such thing as a joint will. Each person regardless of marital status should make his or her own Last Will and Testament

Nina Whitehurst
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: A "living will" is an advance directive that expresses one's wishes with respect to end of life medical decisions. My guess is what you meant to write was "last will and testament" or simply "will". It is very uncommon for a married couple to make a joint will (one will signed by both). It is way more common for each to make his or her own will. But sometimes a will is not the instrument best suited to the situation. Sometimes a trust is better. Your parents should schedule a consultation with an estate planning attorney to help them develop a comprehensive estate plan that is best suited to their situation. Blended families sometimes call for more sophisticated planning that the usual run-of-the-mill will-based estate planning.

Anthony M. Avery agrees with this answer

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