Can I make a will even if my husband does not want to?

We have a 16 year old son, and I am concerned that if we do not have wills..there
are no provisions or plans for my son. My husband and I own a home, have life
insurance, and a vacation time share, and 401K. I would word the will that he
gets everything, but in the event we both pass at the same time…all our
property would go to our son. My husband simple does not see the need for wills.

Asked on March 16, 2017 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can create a will which will govern your individual property and your share of marital property--your husband cannot stop you from creating a will. But your will does not govern your husband's property or share of marital property. Only he cannot create a will as to what he is deemed to own. Note that many jointly owned assets will likely go directly to him no matter what you will says, as the surviving joint owner, if you pass away before him: e.g. if you jointly own a home, it will become his; the money in a joint bank or brokerage account becomes his; etc. You cannot will assets owned jointly to your son if you predecease your husband. (This is an oversimplification, since there are actually several different ways to jointly own property, but will hold for the main ways a husband and wife will jointly own key assets.)

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