Mirror Wills

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Mirror Wills

Mirror Wills?

All about Mirror Wills with Sanjiv Sachdeva.

What is a Mirror Will and how do they work?

A Mirror Will is commonly used by spouses or partners who wish to leave their assets to each other, and then to their chosen beneficiaries after both parties have passed away.

Mirror Wills are essentially identical Wills made by two individuals. The contents of each Will reflect the other – hence the name. However, you can specify individual gifts and beneficiaries in each Will.

The Wills name guardians for any minor children and specify beneficiaries for the estate after both parties have died.

Both parties sign their own Wills and witnesses are required to validate the documents.

What is the difference between a Joint Will and a Mirror Will?

A Joint Will is a single document made by two individuals – usually by a married couple and are very rare – involving having two people’s wishes in one Will outlining how their assets will be distributed once one partner dies. The surviving partner is bound by the terms of the joint Will and cannot change it.

Mirror Wills, however, are separate documents made by each individual. They Mirror each other’s provisions, but can be changed independently.

What are the reasons for making a Mirror Will?

Mirror Wills are suitable for couples who have similar wishes regarding the distribution of their assets. They want to ensure that their estate passes to each other and then to the chosen beneficiaries. Mirror Wills provide peace of mind and clarity about each partner’s intentions.

Can you make modifications to Mirror Wills?

Yes, either party can change their Mirror Will at any time as long as they still have the mental capacity to do so. It’s crucial to communicate any changes with the other party, to avoid discrepancies or misunderstandings.

Can you leave gifts in a Mirror Will?

Yes, you can leave specific gifts or legacies in your Mirror Will, such as money, property or personal belongings. You can leave them to either individuals or organisations.

Do you have executors in a Mirror Will?

You should name an executor(s) in your Mirror Will. They will be responsible for carrying out the instructions outlined in the Will after your death. The executor can be a trusted friend, family member or a professional organisation such as Will Power.

Speak To an Expert

We talk to you about who you would like to benefit and in what amounts, including specific gifts and any charitable legacies, and then help you create the will itself.

Do Mirror Wills require probate? What are the costs?

Like any other Will, Mirror Wills may need to go through probate, depending on the complexity and size of the estate.

The cost of making Mirror Wills is set out on our website. Prices can vary, however, depending on certain factors – such as whether a trust is required to protect assets.

Probate costs are generally a percentage of the value of the estate to be managed. Here at Will Power, probate costs are only payable once we have received the grant of probate for the estate.

Is inheritance tax relevant to Mirror Wills?

Inheritance tax may be applicable to the estate left by individuals including assets transferred through Mirror Wills. This is purely dependent on the size of the estate of each individual and any allowances and exemptions available.

Feel free to ask for our advice on how we can help minimise tax liabilities. As you may know, executors have to ensure that any inheritance tax due on the deceased’s estate is paid within six months of the date of death, to avoid penalties and interests. So it’s always a good idea to get an idea of whether it will apply.

What are the pros and cons of Mirror Wills?

The main pros with a Mirror Will are that they provide clarity and peace of mind for couples regarding the distribution of their assets. They allow customisation of each individual’s Will to reflect their wishes. Having Mirror Wills can help minimise disputes among family members because of that transparency.

A slight drawback is that both parties may feel that they need to agree on the contents of the Mirror Will – but in fact they can have different contents and can be amended in their own right.

But if one party changes their Will without informing the other, it could lead to confusion or disputes. Mirror Wills may not be suitable for couples with significantly different wishes or complex family situations.

What else do we need to know about Mirror Wills?

At Will Power, we offer a combined package for simple Mirror Wills with storage for a one-off fee. This can also be combined with an after care option, whereby you can make as many changes as you wish to a simple Mirror Will, with no repeat fees. That gives you total peace of mind.