Why set up a mirror will

A mirror will is a specific type of will that enables couples who have similar wishes to create corresponding wills that reflect, or ‘mirror’ each other. The wills are almost identical in content, and once created they are then bound to one another in a legally binding contract. Although mirror wills are separate legal documents, they always come as a pair. As outlined below, there are numerous benefits to establishing them.

Reasons to set up a mirror will

A mirror will is a particular type of will that is established by couples who have similar ideals in mind for the future of their assets. Although mirror wills are usually established by married couples, couples who wish to establish mirror wills do not necessarily have to be married. They can also be unmarried couples who simply wish to protect their assets for the future benefit of one another.

When writing a mirror will, the respective partners usually become the sole beneficiary and executor to one another. However, during the formation process it is recommended that at least one extra executor and beneficiary are added to each will, in order to safeguard the assets in the event that the couple may die at the same time.

Mirror wills are advantageous because:

  • They enable a couple that has the same wishes to protect their assets in a mutual agreement
  • They are made in the same terms and for the benefit of one another
  • They are not irrevocable and can therefore be amended to fit the present circumstances at the time of death

Mirror wills are unique in that their contents can be amended following 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. Nevertheless revocable wills have both advantages and disadvantages.

Mirror wills are the selected option amongst many couples as they enable each party to create their own individual wills, as opposed to having to create one will that combines the wishes of both parties.