Mirror wills are usually made by married couples or civil partners as a form of “joint will”.
The law does not provide for couples to make a joint will – but a mirror will comprises two separate legal documents which contain identical or complementary clauses.
A mirror will might, for example, contain the names of people who have agreed to act as guardians for any children, should both parents die – or couples might also include identical bequests to friends or family.
Both wills will name executors, which may be the same for each will, or differ. A second executor for each will is usually named and these may be the same or different.
The main purpose of making a mirror will is usually to enable a surviving partner to be the sole beneficiary and/or sole executor to the will. In this way, both partners have the security of knowing what has been agreed in the event one partner dies.
It is possible to make a mirror will by using online or DIY wills – however, all wills need to be properly considered and correctly drafted to prevent serious errors and omissions.
Wills which are not correctly drafted may be declared void.
For example, if spouses or partners cannot agree on a guardian for their children and each names a different guardian, problems may ensue.
When making any will it is also advisable to discuss finances and ensure decisions are made which reflect the most efficient tax position.
In cases where there may be second marriages and extended families, mirror wills can be complex – and taking legal advice can avoid family friction, financial loss to children and even possible litigation, should one partner die.
Our Wills and Probate solicitors can advise on all matters relating to mirror wills – and our well respected family law department can offer in-house advice on matters such as the care of children, guardianship, providing for vulnerable family members, and providing for children from multiple marriages or partnerships.
The team advises on probate and family law under UK law and Islamic law – and our specialist Wills and Probate lawyers also have expertise on cross-border family law, property law and tax law, as well as international wills.
Duncan Lewis Wills and Probate solicitors can make sure your will or mirror will is correctly drafted, is tax efficient – and reflects your wishes.
We offer competitively-priced fixed fees for wills and probate matters, whenever possible.
For expert legal advice on mirror wills, call Duncan Lewis Wills and Probate solicitors in confidence on 0333 772 0409.