Many people who are considering making a will find that their wishes closely match those of their partner.
Couples are able to reflect each other’s wishes in their wills by creating mirror wills – two separate documents that contain identical or complementary clauses. These are often called “mirror wills”.
Our skilled wills solicitors in West Yorkshire can work alongside you and your partner to put in place mirror wills that clearly set out your wishes for your estate, helping to prevent any confusion or disputes that could arise were you to die intestate (without having a valid will).
If you already have mirror wills in place with your partner, we can also review the details and help you to make any amendments if there have been changes to your financial or personal circumstances since the original documents were created.
Get in touch with our wills & trusts lawyers in West Yorkshire
How do mirror wills work?
Mirror wills are drafted in much the same way as a standard will, with the exception being that the terms and clauses directly reflect each other. The only differences between the documents would be the name of the person and, potentially, their individual funeral wishes or any specific gifts of personal possessions.
A simple example of a mirror will could be that both members of a couple leave the entirety of their estate to the other and whoever dies last then leaves everything to their children in equal shares.
Why make a mirror will?
There are a number of benefits to making a mirror will:
You and your partner avoid dying intestate
If you die without having a will in place in England or Wales, this is called dying intestate. The Rules of Intestacy dictate that the law will decide who inherits from your estate which may not be who you wish.
Your estate will pass to your partner
By drafting a mirror will with your partner, you are ensuring that your estate will pass to them, protecting their immediate financial future. This is especially important if you are unmarried, as they would not be legally entitled to inherit from your estate when you pass away.
You can appoint additional executors and beneficiaries
Each partner will often be the sole beneficiary in each other’s mirror will and will usually be each other’s executor. However, mirror wills also allow for additional executors to be named so that both parties’ wishes can be carried out if they die at the same time. You can also state who should inherit your estate if your partner dies before you or at the same time.
When should you make a mirror will?
As with any decision related to making a will, the sooner you make mirror wills with your partner, the better. Many people put off making a will as they feel they are not old enough to do so but, in reality, it is sensible to do so at the earliest opportunity.
You will also be able to alter your mirror will at any stage, reflecting any changes to your financial or personal circumstances and you should review your mirror wills regularly.
Why choose Thornton Jones’ mirror will solicitors in Wakefield, Ossett & Garforth?
Our wills solicitors have extensive experience with various types of lifetime planning matters, including mirror wills. We have been advising individuals and families across West Yorkshire to help them put in place the right legal documents so they can enjoy life without having to worry about the future.
We pride ourselves on providing a supportive, yet practical service that makes it easier for our clients to freely discuss personal matters that can otherwise prove to be difficult to share. We are also able to specifically tailor our advice to meet the needs of older clients who may feel a little daunted by the prospect of having to deal with a solicitor. We offer sound and reliable advice, no matter how complex your personal situation may be.
Elizabeth Fyfe, Head of the Private Client department is a member of STEP, (the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners), an organisation of legal professionals that specialise in lifetime planning and succession matters.
We are also members of the Law Society Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme accreditation for our expertise in private client matters and are independently regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).