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It is important to have a will in place for when you die to make sure your estate and assets are dealt with in the way you wish and to make the probate process less complicated for your loved ones to deal with once you are gone.

   

How you go about writing a will is up to you and there are some different options available.

   

One popular choice for married couples or couples in a civil partnership is to opt for writing mirrored wills. They are, as titled, wills that mirror each other. Everything passes to the other person upon the first death and is typically then split between children or appointed individuals after that.

   

For example, Mark and Sally are husband and wife. They have two children, Toby and Lucy. Mark dies first meaning the entire estate goes straight to Sally including all their savings and property. 10 years later Sally dies, and the estate is then split between their grown-up children, Toby and Lucy.

   

With mirrored wills, it is possible to make them slightly different – for example, it is quite common and also logical to appoint different executors. In the example above, Mark may have appointed Sally to be the executor of his estate as his wife, but Sally could have appointed her sister, which would suit their situation better in the end, as Mark had already passed away.

   

Benefits of Mirror Wills

 
  • They are simple and straightforward to deal with.
  • They give you peace of mind that your spouse will be looked after when you die or that you will be looked after if they die before you.
  • They are often less expensive because there is less work for the solicitor to deal with, drawing up two similar documents rather than two entirely separate wills.
  • They often reflect the wishes of most married couples or life partners.
 

Older happy couple embracing writing a will, making a will Basingstoke

Drawbacks of Mirror Wills

 
  • They rely on trust of the other spouse. A will can be changed at any time, including after the death of the first spouse without the other or the executors being notified.
  • They do not work as well for more complicated family situations, such as blended families.
  • If changes need to be made, they need to be reflected in both documents in order to work.
 

There are other alternatives to a mirror will if after reading this article or speaking to a Solicitor you decide that this option is not suitable for you and your family. There are other areas to explore to protect your assets such as how you own your property, trusts, pre-marital agreements or living agreements.

   

Speaking to a Solicitor for Advice

 

If you are considering making a will or updating your existing wills then please contact our Private Client Team today who will be happy to help and discuss your options.

   

The benefit of speaking to a solicitor for some bespoke advice, rather than relying on the internet or recommendations from others, is that a law firm is regulated and authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). This means that advice given will be in your best interests, rather than what is more desirable to third parties.

   

Our team often hold fixed fee meetings with clients, either in person, over the phone or via video meeting, to help them understand which route is best for them and to identify if they have any complicated matters that need addressing in their will which require more careful planning, such as using trusts.

   

Call us on 01256 844888, email enquiries@lambbrooks.com, complete a contact form on our website or speak to our online chat assistant for further information and guidance on making a will.

   

Other Articles You May Be Interested in Reading:

How to Start Writing a Will: 8 Simple Steps

Taking Care of Aging Parents

Using a Solicitor Vs Using a Will Writer

 

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.  The law may have changed since this article was published.   Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.