Mirror Wills – What Are Mirror Wills?
When you’re creating a will, there’s a million and one questions you’re probably wondering about, and if you come across Mirror Wills, then one of those is no doubt, ‘What are Mirror Wills?!’
It’s worth noting that this information is only applicable in England and Wales, but first, let’s give you a bit of background.
Why Do I Need A Will?
Creating a will is something that many simply don’t consider until later in life.
In fact, data from Remember a Charity recently revealed that 68% of adults in the UK don’t have a valid will – which is why it’s vital to make sure you do it correctly.
There’s A LOT to consider when you’re writing a will, but the reason you’re doing it is to ensure your wishes are followed and your belongings are passed on to your loved ones when you die.
The easiest place to start is by mapping out your estate and assets – if you’ve got anything specific you want to leave to family members, friends, and loved ones, then you should ABSOLUTELY be writing a will.
But before you do so, make a list of EVERYTHING you own. And I mean everything.
Cars, property, savings, any businesses you own, shares, personal possessions – everything.
And make sure you include the value of each item too. Doing so will make it much easier for assets to be distributed among your beneficiaries, which is particularly helpful should any financial or tax issues arise.
How Do I Decide Who To Leave My Estate To?
Deciding who will get what is not an easy thing to do. Beneficiaries are anyone who benefits from your will, whether that’s financially or your Gregg Wallace decorative china plates.
Once you’ve got a good idea of your list of assets, it’s time to start figuring out where everything will go. The smart way to do this is by creating a list of beneficiaries first, then deciding how each of them will benefit – it’ll help you keep track of things A LOT easier.
There’d be nothing worse than finishing your list and realising you’ve left your favourite cousin off the list…
And you might want to include charities and organisations in there too – so have a good thing about your list of beneficiaries first!
This is a great chance to think about things before you commit to them in your will.
What Is A Mirror Will?
A mirror will is a will that’s almost identical to another, where one person in a couple will leave their estate to the other in the event that they pass away.
The most common iteration of a mirror will involves one partner leaving everything to the other partner, and then to their children. The partner’s will is similarly set out with the same terms.
The idea is that should one partner in a relationship die, the other one will be protected, and then upon the second partner’s passing, the children will inherit their assets.
As with any will, a mirror will should be written as soon as possible, especially if you have loved ones you wish to pass your assets on to.
If you’re engaged, in a civil partnership, or married, then you should consider making mirror wills if you have the same wishes with regards to your estate being passed on.
However, if you have differing wishes with your assets, or if you have assets from an inheritance that are passed down with different requirements, then it might be worth making individual wills.
Why Should I Create A Mirror Will?
First things first, you should seek expert legal advice before making any decision on your wills.
If you outline your wishes to a solicitor, they’ll be able to talk you through your options when it comes to creating a will, and whether a mirror will is the right option for you.
But the benefits of a mirror will include:
- You can provide for your children
- You can name additional executors
- You and your partner’s financial futures are secured
It’s worth knowing that both you and your partner are able to change your mind at any time.
Your will is a personal document and a personal decision, so if you wish to have an individual will, it’s worth having that discussion with your partner.
It’s also worth considering that once you pass away, your partner is free to change their will if they wish, so if there’s a significant amount of trust placed in them.
Finding A Solicitor To Help With My Mirror Will
Creating your will is a significant task to undertake, and it’s important to get it right – especially if you’re creating a mirror will.
So, before you take the final step of writing your will, you need to carefully select the right solicitor to help you…