There are many types of Will, most are very straight forward however a Will can be used as a vehicle to create an estate plan. Estate Planning simply means creating a plan that has been specifically formulated according to your particular circumstances. For example an estate plan takes into consideration the value of your assets including the value of any property you may own, your children and their circumstances i.e their marital status, their family make up, their financial situation and of course their general health and wellbeing.
/ Mirror Wills
A mirror Will is simply a Will written where the wishes in that Will mirror another persons wishes. For example a married couple or perhaps civil partners may create joint mirror will that state that either party pass away their entire estate passes to the survivor. Then when the survivor passes away the estate is divided the same way in both of the Wills. In this way it does not matter who passes away first the estate distribution is the same when the second party passes.
Joint Mirror wills are suitable for most family arrangements however it should be recognised that with a joint mirror will, after the death of the first person, the surviving party could make a new will changing thus distribution of the final estate. This is why careful planning and consideration should be given to Wills which include Trust arrangements or Joint Mutual Wills.
/ Trust Wills
Wills which include Trust arrangements form part of Estate Planning, they are used so that a Testator (the person making the Will) keeps an element of control over the assets they are giving away. In this way the assets are protected after the person passes away. For example a Will can pass property to a trust that gives a partner or a spouse a right to live in a property but when the recipient gives up the right to remain in that property the property can be gifted to the children of the first person who passed away first. In this way the person who was given the right to remain in the property can use the property as their own however they do not own the property (or perhaps half of) and therefore they cannot give away that share to another. For more information on Trusts and Trust Wills visit our dedicated trust page
/ Mutual Wills
Mutual Wills can be used where a couple want to ensure there joint wishes stay the same after the first person has passed away. Mutual Wills are made in joint consideration of another person, in this way after the first person has passed away the surviving partner is not permitted to allow to make a will distributing their estate differently to that which was agreed. This type of Will can be very restrictive and perhaps not an ideal situation for most family arrangements. Trust Wills give far more flexibility and should be considered in favour of joint mutual Wills.
/ Book a Consultation
Want a will or need friendly help and advice about the various options, please call us on 01376 349366 to book a consultation.