A Brief Guide to Mirror Wills
There are a few different kinds of Will you can make. We recently spoke about trust Wills, and another type of Will you can make is a mirror Will.
A mirror Will is commonly used by married and unmarried couples who have similar wishes about where they want their possessions to be left. They are two separate legal documents that are practically identical in every way. They only differ in the name and possibly the funeral arrangements. However, after a mirror Will has been made, either person can subsequently change or update their Will. This is the same after one of the people has died. There is no legal obligation to keep the original mirror Will.
Advantages of Mirror Wills
There are a number of advantages to mirror Wills. They can be a cost efficient way of making a Will, especially if you and your partner have the same or similar wishes for your estate and possessions. They also allow you to leave all of your estate to your partner or spouse, which makes the Will writing process simpler.
Another advantage of a mirror Will is that, though the Wills are mirrored, each person has their own Will. This means that you can add Trusts to your own Will without affecting the other Will.
Disadvantages of Mirror Wills
The main disadvantage of a mirror Will is that one person may change their Will without the need to change both Wills. This can cause problems with the validity of the mirror Will. It can also cause problems if you die before your partner, as they can then change the Will to leave your assets to someone you did not want to leave them to.
Wills are also invalid if the other person remarries after your death. In this case the surviving partner then has full control of both their own and your assets.
How to Protect Your Own Assets in a Mirror Will
If you wish to protect certain assets in your mirror Will, then you can place certain assets into Trusts. This puts you in more control, especially after you die, as your partner can not leave the assets in the Trust to someone else.
The terms of the trust may allow your partner to benefit from your assets during their lifetime. Then if they die or remarry, your assets in the trust will go to the beneficiaries you choose.
If You Die Without A Will
In England or Wales, if someone dies without making a valid Will, then the law will decide who gets what. If you have no living relatives, then all your property, money and possessions go to the Crown. If you have children under 18, then other people can make decisions about who will take care of them and manage their finances, education and living arrangements until they turn 18.
How We Can Help
Here at The Inheritance Experts, we work with solicitors who have a wealth of experience dealing with Wills. Contact us today by filling in our contact form or by calling us on 01614138763 to speak to one of our friendly knowledgeable advisors.