Many people in the UK don’t have a will, and it’s surprising such an important aspect of living should be so woefully neglected. It’s stated that more than 50 per cent of adults in the UK haven’t made a will.
Given the turmoil and anguish that can surround untimely death, it seems bizarre so many people risk causing further upset by failing to deal with their estate, in the event of death. If death occurs, it is the law that makes decisions on property and capital distribution and not the surviving partner or any children.
One way for couples to take advantage of a simple cost-effective will writing plan is to make mirror wills. These are wills that are virtually identical and designed to protect the surviving partner in the event of death.
They are a useful will for any married couple, civil partnership or unmarried couple to ensure that in the event of death, the surviving member of the partnership will inherit the estate.
Wills can also be used to confirm that if both members of the partnership die at the same time, all of the joint estate is transferred to any children/other beneficiaries.
Taking out wills protects partners, particularly if they are an unmarried couple and prevents any legal issues arising if untimely death should occur.
Although wills are generally just about the same, there can be slight differences incorporated within each will. These tend to be small variations such as additional executors.
A mirror will is a legal form of inheritance for couples with children. Here, the couple decides to visit registered solicitors who will draft both of their wishes into a single will and email them a copy. In other words, a mirror will is a legal agreement between a couple and their solicitors. Thereafter if your loved one dies, then the remaining partner inherits the property on behalf of the children.
Advantages of mirror wills :
- Wills are free and flexible. For instance, mirror wills can be edited at any time by either of the partners. To do this, you can easily email your solicitor who will conduct the services on the will as per your request
- These wills are cost-effective, unlike in the case where the couple decides to head for two individual wills. For instance, mirror wills will have a couple deploy the services of a solicitor once on a single sheet.
- Mirror wills can also be used by two people who are not married, say a divorced couple who want the best for their children.
- Wills are not taxed in England, especially if the couple is domiciled in England for tax purposes.
Inheritance Tax can be avoided when a will is in place leaving everything to a partner.
Nil rate of Inheritance Tax passes on to the surviving spouse mirror wills can cut the cost of making a will substantially. As they are generally a mirror image there is less work involved in drawing up a will When it comes to avoiding Inheritance Tax on a legacy.
As long as the estate has a value of less than double the current rate for zero Inheritance Tax, the surviving member of any couple will not be taxed.The current rate for Inheritance Tax is £325,000, so effectively couples can benefit from an estate of up to £650,000 when wills are in place.
The text of a will name the surviving member of the couple as sole beneficiary. In this respect, the other half of the couple becomes the executor of the will and inherits the estate. If changes are made to either will it is important that these are reflected within the second will.
It is also important to name an alternative executor in each will, in circumstances where both parties die at the same time there needs to be a legal executor in place to handle the administration of each estate.
If you are one of the 50 per cent of UK adults without a will in place, it’s important to consider the ramifications this presents to your partner, children and extended family.
Disadvantages of Mirror Wills :
- These wills are a significant disadvantage since they can be edited minus your consent.
- Wills are not a complete guarantee that your children to inherit your property. For instance, wills can have your property fall into the wrong hands.
- Mirror wills are built on trusts. For instance, mirror wills are built on the hopes that your beloved/inheritor will not mismanage your property.
- These wills might result to the disinheritance of your children if your partner remarried and died while in their new marriage.
For instance, one could come up with ‘trust’ in their will. A “trust” is a legal statement that gives you the freedom to include trustees in your will. Trustees are a group of family friends or family members who will ensure that your children will inherit your property regardless of the circumstance. Trustees are more effective since they are managed by two people rather than a single person who might turn out selfish and corrupt.
Another good example would be to leave a resourceful asset to act as a trust item for your children. Such assets are left under the care of the local authority and cannot be sold nor misused by those in charge. Instead, the property will be kept safe and will only be inherited by the children when they are of age.
Yes, there are alternatives to mirror wills. A good example would be to directly leave your children the property rather than having an adult to inherit the property for them. However, it’s not advised to jump into these alternatives minus taking legal advice from a registered solicitor.
As seen above, a mirror will is a legal agreement that will leave everything to your loved one in case of your demise. On the other hand, this system is faced with multiple setbacks like trust issues. Nonetheless, a mirror will is more cushioning, especially if your partner is trustworthy and loving to your children.
What is a mirror will?
Mirror wills are essentially the same wills where a single person in a couple leaves their estate to the other in case of their passing away. One of the most typical mirror wills are when one spouse leaves everything to their partner and afterwards to their children. The other spouse’s will is similar, because they leave whatever to the other partner and after that to the youngsters. The result is that when among them dies, the other is protected, as well as upon the second death, the children acquire the properties.
When should mirror will be composed?
Mirror wills should be created as soon as possible, specifically if you have children. If you are involved, in a marital relationship or civil partnership as well as both of you want the same thing regarding where your properties must go when you die, you must consider making mirror wills. If neither partner desires the exact same thing, then you can both make private wills.
Why make a mirror will?
Your partner acquires every little thing
Mirror wills are really comparable papers prepared for pairs that mutually consent to leave their entire estate to the last making it through companion if among them passes away. By consenting to a mirror will, you are securing your companion’s economic future (as if you are unmarried, they would certainly not necessarily be legitimately qualified to acquire your estate).
You can attend to your youngsters
A mirror will include instructions for both events’ estates to be delegated any kind of making it through kids should the couple die at the same time. If you have any children under the age of 18, you can select a guardian for them should both moms and dads pass away.
You can name added executors
Normally, the partners are the single recipient in each other’s mirror will certainly as well as are also each other’s executor (ie a person called by the manufacturer of a will to execute the directions of the will). When it comes to mirror wills, added executors ought to be named, to ensure that both partners’ desires can be executed at the same time if they pass away.