There are different types of Wills and Trust Wills available in England & Wales and the one that is right for you will depend on your individual circumstances.
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The Different Types of Wills & Trust Wills
A Single Will is suitable for any individual person who is looking to record their wishes. It's often presumed that Single Wills are for people who are not in a relationship or who are divorced. This is not necessarily true. You can make a Single Will if you are married, in a civil partnership or in a relationship, and in fact it will be the best option if your partner already has a Will or has different wishes to yourself.
However, if you and your partner are looking to create very similar Wills, it is worth you exploring the option of Mirror Wills. Furthermore, a Single Will may not be appropriate if you are married but have children from a previous relationship, or you want to put provisions in place for loved ones who are vulnerable. In these circumstances, you should consider a Trust Will (see below).
Mirror Wills are designed for couples who have almost identical wishes. Two separate documents will be produced, one for each person, but the contents of the wills 'mirror' each other. You do not have to be married or in a civil partnership to make a Mirror Will, and it's often more cost-effective for couples to choose Mirror Wills. There is still flexibility to make very personal decisions, such as your funeral arrangements.
But if you and your partner do not share the same wishes, you should both consider making Single Wills. For example, it may be that one person is the sole owner of a property and wants to leave it to a family member.
It's also important to note that, with Mirror Wills, either person can change their Will without the other person knowing, or after the first person has died. This means that you cannot be 100% certain of the other person's Will remaining the same.
There are different types of Trust Wills and they each do different things.
A Discretionary Trust Will can be used to leave your Estate, or part of it, to a Trust created in your Will. You can choose people to manage the Trust (called Trustees) and name people you would like to include as potential beneficiaries of the Trust. You then give your Trustees total discretion over which of the potential beneficiaries actually receives anything from your Estate, when and how.
Property Trust Wills
A Property Trust Will lets you create a Trust in your Will that looks after your property (or your share of it). You would appoint Trustees to manage the Trust but the terms of the Trust allows you to give someone (normally a spouse or partner) the right to benefit from the Trust during their lifetime.
If there is property in the Trust then this benefit is the right to reside in the property. If the Trust contains cash because the property in the Trust has been sold, then the benefit is the right to receive the income generated from the Trust. However the underlying capital in the Trust is protected for other beneficiaries and is usually distributed to them once the spouse or partner has died.
A Life Interest Trust Will is similar to a Property Trust Will, but enables you to put the whole or part of your estate in the Will Trust, rather than just your property. As with the Property Trust, you still need to choose Trustees and name someone to benefit from the Trust during their lifetime. If there is property in the Trust then this benefit is the right to reside in the property. If the Trust contains cash, then the benefit is the right to receive the income generated from the Trust assets. However the underlying capital in the Trust is protected for other beneficiaries.
If you are not sure what type of Will is best for you, our professional Will Writing team can help. We will discuss your situation and your personal requirements with you, recommending a Will that best suits your needs.
For initial advice call our Will writers on 03306069591 or contact us online and we will help you.