Do I Have to Be Married to Make a Mirror Will?
09 March 2018
No, Mirror Wills are used by unmarried and married couples who have similar wishes regarding what should happen to their money, belongings, assets and property after they die. There is no legal requirement for a couple to be married in order to make Mirror Wills.
What is a Mirror Will?
A Mirror Will (sometimes called a mirror image Will or a joint Will) is simply a type of Will, which exactly mirrors another Will (usually that of your partner or spouse). Mirror Wills are two separate legal documents, but they are written at the same time as one another and they mirror each other in almost every way.
As you would expect with a Will, a Mirror Will sets out what should happen to your money, assets, possessions and any property that you own after you die. As with any other legal Will, you can name Beneficiaries and state what you would like them to inherit, name the Executors that you would like to wind up your affairs for you after you die and set out any funeral wishes that you have.
The key differences between the two Mirror Wills are likely to be the name of the person making the Will and any individual funeral wishes that each person has.
When Can a Mirror Will Be Used?
A Mirror Will benefits couples where each person’s wishes mirrors the wishes of the other person. Making Mirror Wills can also be more cost effective than making two Wills separately. With Co-op Legal Services, you and your partner can make Mirror Wills from as little as £245 (including VAT), and you can start to make your Wills online right now.
It may be that each person wants to leave a proportion of their Estate to the other person when they die, except for a specified lump sum of money that they would like to leave to a specific relative. If the couple have children, it may be that each person wants to leave their whole Estate to the other person, but then share this out amongst their children when the second person dies.
Most couples who make Mirror Wills are unlikely to know which of them will die first. Because of this, it’s important that the terms of the Mirror Wills will not be affected by either person dying before the other. In properly drafted Mirror Wills, the Beneficiaries will remain the same regardless of which person dies first.
Things to Consider When Making Mirror Wills
If you and your partner choose to make Mirror Wills, there are a few important points to consider.
Once they have been completed, Mirror Wills will work in exactly the same way as any other Will. This means that either person is within their legal rights to make changes to their Will at any point, without the consent of the other person.
This could mean that before or after one person dies, the other person could change their Will, and as a result the original wishes that were set out and agreed between the couple will not be carried out. It is therefore important that each person completely trusts the other to fulfil the wishes that have been agreed between them. This is something that’s important to bear in mind when making Mirror Wills.
It’s also important to remember that the Wills are stand-alone documents, so if a change is made to one Will then the same change will also need to be made to the other Will. If this isn’t done then the Wills will no longer be a true reflection of one another. If you and your partner decide to create new Wills, then you will need to ensure that the old Wills are properly destroyed to avoid any confusion in the future.
When making Mirror Wills, it’s important to consider all potential eventualities, such as what would happen if both people were to die at the same time. At Co-op Legal Services, our Will writers can discuss all potential eventualities with you when making your Mirror Wills, to ensure that all bases are covered.