Mirror Wills aren’t right for everyone but if you are a couple, married or otherwise, and you are in agreement that upon your death your assets should be passed to the surviving partner then having Mirror Wills are a good and cost-effective way of ensuring that your partner is protected upon your death.
Furthermore, if you have children, then ensuring that both parents have a Will in place is vital to ensuring that your children are protected and provided for should both parents die at the same time.
What happens to my assets if I don’t have a Will?
If you pass away without a valid Will in place, known as ‘dying intestate’, then the law decides who receives your estate and this might not be who you would have chosen. Having a Will in place ensures that your wishes are known and that your estate goes to the people you choose.
When should Mirror Wills be Written?
Like any Will, Mirror Wills should be written as soon as possible and having a Will is even more important when you have children. Typical Mirror Wills would provide for the surviving partner and then the children. In the unfortunate event that both parents die at the same time, the children would be provided for in accordance with your wishes as documented within the Will. This could include appointing a Testamentary guardian for your children as well.
How Do Mirror Wills differ to an Individual Will?
Actually, very little differs between Mirror Wills and an individual Will as both make it clear what your personal wishes are for your estate upon your passing. The one fundamental difference is that Mirror Wills are practically identical for both parties (except for the name of the testator of course) and as such the making of Mirror Wills cost less due to the reduced amount of work needed by a Solicitor to make the Will (when compared to making two individual Wills).
What if my Partner and I Have Different Wishes?
Mirror Wills aren’t necessarily the right solution for everyone and it’s not uncommon for couples to have different wishes for their personal estate upon their passing. In these situations, each party should have an individual Will that reflects their own personal wishes for their estate.
A solicitor will be able to guide you through the process and advise on what typically should be included in your Will to ensure that you are accurately documenting your wishes and ensuring that you are not exposing yourself to any future challenge. It’s worth being aware that if your Will doesn’t make provision for someone who might have been financially dependent upon you then they might seek to claim against your estate when you pass.
Can an Individual Will Supersede a Mirror Will?
In short, yes. Whilst you may agree with your partner over the contents of your Mirror Wills at the time of writing, either of you, including after one person has died, may change their Will and any subsequent Will would effectively be your most recent wishes. As such this new Will would supersede any previously made Will, whether that be an individual Will or a revision of of your Mirror Wills.
Reasons Why You Should Make Mirror Wills
- Mirror Wills Ensure Your Partner is Protected
Without a valid Will in place the intestacy rules will decide who inherits your estate. If you are married then your spouse may inherit some or all of your estate depending on the circumstances. However if you are unmarried then your partner isn’t legally entitled to inherit your estate upon your passing. A Will can put this right and can protect your partner’s financial future. Mirror Wills are almost identical and document your agreed wishes for your estate when you die.
You Can Provide For, and Protect, Your Children
This is especially important if you have young children as Mirror Wills can include instructions for both parties’ estates to the left to any surviving children as well as appointing a guardian for them should both parents pass away at the same time.
Your estate can be placed in Trust until your young children reach a pre-determined age and funds can even be made available from your estate for the ongoing care of your young children.
You Can Name Additional Executors
Normally, when making a Will, a person will name their partner or spouse as their executor, however this doesn’t allow for any tragedy where both parties die at the same time.
With Mirror Wills, additional Executors should be named to allow for both partners’ wishes to be carried out if both were to die at the same time.
Mirror Wills are Cheaper!
At Thornton Jones Solicitors we are experts in Will Writing in Wakefield and with offices in Ossett, Garforth and Sherburn In Elmet we’ve got West Yorkshire covered.
Our Basic Wills cost £200 plus VAT yet Mirror Wills (for two people) cost £350 plus VAT. Therefore if Mirror Wills are the right solution for you then choosing Mirror Wills can save you £50.
How Do We Make Mirror Wills?
It’s very simple! Firstly call us to discuss your needs and we can arrange an appointment with one of our experienced Solicitors. We have plenty of office space to meet with your face-to-face or alternatively we have all of the technology to facilitate your appointment over video call if that’s your preference.
Our experts will guide you through the entire process and will ensure that your wishes are fully understood and accurately documented.
You can contact us here, or alternatively, you can call us to discuss further and to make an appointment at any of our four West Yorkshire based offices.
Solicitors in Wakefield - Call 01924 290 029
Solicitors in Garforth - Call 0113 246 4423
Solicitors in Ossett - Call 01924 586 466
Solicitors in Sherburn in Elmet - Call 01977 350 500
Thornton Jones Solicitors are a firm of Solicitors in Wakefield. We have a wealth of experience in providing Wills, Powers of Attorney, Probate, and other Private Client Solicitor services. We also have offices in Garforth, Ossett and Sherburn in Elmet so if you are looking for a Solicitor in Garforth or a Solicitor in Sherburn in Elmet then call us to discuss your matter and to book an appointment.
About Liz Fyfe
Liz Heads our busy Private Client Department. She is a qualified Trusts and Estates Practitioner having attained a Distinction in the STEP Diploma in Trusts and Estates Administration. She specialises in offering advice in relation to Wills, Probate, Trusts, Lasting Powers of Attorneys and Court of Protection Deputyship applications and is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly.
Liz is a member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS). She deals with contentious probate cases, including challenges to the validity of Wills on the basis of fraud, irregularity, incapacity or undue influence, removal of Executors and Trustees and claims under the Inheritance ( Provisions for Family and Dependants) Act.
She recently represented the Claimant in the reported case of The British University in Dubai v Ebrahimi  EWHC 757 (Ch) (26 March 2021), in which she successfully proved that a will, which had already been admitted to probate was a fraud ensuring that the estate was to be distributed in accordance with an earlier valid will.
Liz loves the variety that life as a Private Client lawyer brings. When she’s not working or studying, Liz loves to spend time with her husband and their young children which leaves little time for anything else!
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