Guide To Our Mirror Wills

Posted by Stephen on 7th September 2015

Guide to our Mirror Wills or Joint Wills template

Our Mirror Wills template is ideal for a couple who wish to set up “joint wills”, meaning:

1. a married or unmarried couple, without children, who wish to leave the bulk of their estate to their spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner; and

2. a married couple who have children (or a civil partnership who have children) or an unmarried couple who have children and who are living together, who wish to give the bulk of their estate to the other spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner and the rest of their estate to the children.

Joint wills are also known as “mutual wills” or “mirror wills”, all essentially meaning that the couple put in place very similar wills to leave their property to each other or to agreed beneficiaries. After one of you passes away, the other should respect the basis on which the joint wills were set up and abide by the agreement not to change their will.  If while you are both alive you both agree to put in place new wills, you can of course do so – you should both agree on this change and you can either agree to have a new form of joint will or you might be agreeing not to have joint wills any longer. The main point is that to get out of the original “joint wills” basis you must both be clear on, and agree on, what you are doing.

If you are not both happy with this basis as a starting point for your wills, then you should not set up joint wills.  If you are single, then you are unlikely to want a joint will. If either of these points applies to you, Legalo has other wills available which may be more suitable for you.

You can each use this template to produce your will: 2 for the price of 1. When you do so, on a “joint wills” basis, you need to make sure their wording is similar.

This template should be used to replace any earlier will (including any old codicils to the earlier will). This template has options for you to select, so you can use it you do or don’t:

1. plan to leave legacies to charities;

2. intend to make gifts to people;

3. prefer a natural burial;

4. want to leave other directions concerning your funeral; and

5. own land overseas (but please note that it is better to have a separate foreign will that deals with that land).

Our Mirror Wills are not appropriate if (a) you want to set up a trust through your will or (b) you need advice on inheritance tax planning. In either such case, you ought to consult a good firm of solicitors for this. Legalo does not provide advice on tax planning or setting up trusts, as these are not subjects the public can safely tackle on a DIY basis.

For the rest of the guide to this template, please click here (and scroll down that page to the heading “Jargon-buster”).