What Are Mirror Wills?
Posted on 9th March 2020
When we receive enquiries about Wills from spouses, civil partners or partners, our solicitors in Garstang are often asked what our prices are for ‘mirror’ or ‘joint’ Wills.
Quite often, it is the case that the Wills our clients are referring to are in fact ‘mirrored’. This means that the couple has generally similar wishes about how their assets should be divided. Normally, this is everything to each other and then everything to the same beneficiaries on the second death (i.e. the children of the relationship, or a specific charity). The Wills are referred to as ‘mirror’ Wills because they mirror each other.
Mirror Wills could be the right type of Will for you and your partner/spouse, however, in some cases, our team of local solicitors for Wills need to discuss your assets, and your estate to make sure that you don’t need to consider anything further.
When you are making mirror Wills, one thing to consider is what would happen if you or your spouse went into care, following the first death. If you leave everything to each other, including your property and any money, if the survivor of you is taken into care, the full value of all of your assets would be taken into account.
For example, if you and your spouse have an estate worth £300,000.00 (including a property worth £300,000.00) and everything passes to the survivor of you on the first death, the surviving spouse’s estate would be worth the full amount (obviously subject to funeral debts, and any other debts that needed to be paid).
If the spouse was taken into care, the council would assess their need for help with the fees based on the full amount and, if they were in care for any length of time and if they needed nursing care, they could end up paying out over £47,000.00 per year (according to payforcare.org). This could, therefore, take all their capital, leaving nothing to pass onto your beneficiaries after your spouse has died.
There are things that you could put in place which could help to prevent this from happening, for example with a Property Trust Will. However, in these circumstances, it’s always a good idea to contact our team of local solicitors for Wills to find out what you can do.
MG Legal – Your Local Solicitors
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