Ask the Legal Expert: Are Mirror Wills a Simple Option?
- AuthorCherrie Powell
"My husband had a health scare recently that has prompted us to think about making Wills. We both have adult children from previous relationships. Would Mirror Wills work?"
Mirror Wills look like a straightforward, inexpensive option but they have inherent risks. Heated disputes over Mirror Wills are common, particularly with blended families.
Most Mirror Wills feature two identical documents which state that both partners leave everything to their spouse first, and then to any children – so a surviving partner will inherit the estate, then the children or other loved ones get the remainder afterwards.
Clearly, this leaves a lot to trust. Neither you nor your wife or partner can be sure the agreement will be enacted if the remaining partner decides otherwise. It is impossible to predict how you or your partner will feel about leaving an estate to someone chosen by someone else, and bonds shift over the years. Added to this, there is no legal obligation for someone to inform their partner if they decide to change the contents of their own Will while both partners are alive.
Instead, why not consider leaving a gift directly to your child in your own Will? Or you could include a life interest trust in your Will, to specify how assets are divided when the remaining spouse passes away.
It is very important when making a Will, that you seek tailored legal advice, to ensure you get the details right. This will help to prevent potential legal disputes for your loved ones. For specialist advice, contact our Lifetime Planning team today on 03333 208644 or email email@example.com
This question is based upon a hypothetical situation.