What is a mirror will

A mirror will is designed specifically for couples (usually husband and wife or civil partners) who wish to create similar wills that ‘mirror’ each other. Mirror wills are created when two people have similar wishes, and therefore wish to create two bound wills that will reflect how each individual wishes their assets to be distributed at the time of death. Mirror wills effectively enable couples with similar wishes to make almost identical wills.

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Features of a Mirror Will

A mirror will is a particular type of will that is designed for couples who have similar wishes in mind for the future of their assets. Usually, mirror wills stipulate that either spouse wishes to leave their property to the other spouse, and subsequently to their children, in the case that children are involved.

Mirror wills enable individuals to perform the following:

  • Appoint people they both trust to be their executors who will deal with their estate when they die
  • Name who they wish to benefit from specific assets
  • Name who will benefit from their estate
  • Appoint guardians to look after any minor children they may have

The respective partners creating the mirror wills usually become the sole beneficiary and sole executor to one another.

Mirror wills differ in many respects from other types of wills in that the contents of the will are able to be changed after the death of the first partner. Other types of wills, including mutual wills, have a clause within them that stipulates that such changes are prohibited after the death of a spouse.