Mirror Wills are ideally suited to couples who wish to make Wills that reflect each other's wishes - hence the name "Mirror Wills".
It is usual (but not mandatory) for couples to leave their estates to each other in the first instance, and then to decide on back up beneficiaries in the event that both spouses/partners pass away together. The same beneficiaries are mentioned in each spouse/partner's Will.
Mirror Wills do not form a legally binding contract, and the surviving spouse/partner is free to alter their Will and the beneficiaries of their Will at any time.
Points to consider when making Mirror Wills
- Who you would wish to appoint as executors and trustees
- Who you would wish to appoint as a guardian for your children if they are under the age of eighteen
- Whether you would like to leave any gifts of money or property (such as jewellery or other personal items) and if so, the full names and addresses of the beneficiaries
- Who you would like to receive the remainder of your estate in the event that you have both passed away
- At what age you would like minors to inherit. The legal minimum age is 18 however, this can be increased to say 21 or 25
- Whether you would like to include any funeral instructions such as burial or cremation.
Other types of Wills available:
Basic Single Will
Suitable for individuals who wish to have a simple Will in place to ensure that their assets pass to whom they wish. Includes the appointment of executors and guardians, the gifting of specific gifts and legacies, the residue of your estate, and funeral instructions.
Property Trust Wills
Ideal to protect a share of jointly owned property from the effects of long term care or re-marriage.
Discretionary Trust Wills
Used to create long term asset protection or to protect the interests of beneficiaries themselves.
If you do not have a Will then the following may apply:
- Your spouse/partner may not receive all of your estate
- The courts will decide who looks after your children under 18
- Children from a previous relationship may miss out on your estate
- Your assets may be used to pay for care fees thus substantially decreasing your children's inheritance
- Your entire estate may pass to the government
- It may be too late to state any funeral wishes