In our Ask The Legal Expert column we get the latest specialist advice from the Lifetime Planning team at JCP Solicitors. Cherrie Powell, a Legal Advisor at JCP, who is based in Caerphilly, tackles a question about Mirror Wills.
My husband had a health scare recently that has prompted us to think about making Wills. We both have adult children from previous relationships. Would Mirror Wills work?
Mirror Wills have inherent risks and disputes over them are common, particularly with blended families. Most Mirror Wills feature twin documents which state that both partners leave everything to their spouse first, and then to any children on the second death. This means the surviving partner will inherit the estate, then the children or other loved-ones get the remainder afterwards.
This leaves a lot to trust, and neither you nor your spouse can be sure the agreement will be enacted if the remaining partner decides otherwise. Also, there is no legal obligation for someone to inform their partner if they decide to change the contents of their own Will while both partners are alive.
Why not consider leaving a gift directly to your child in your own Will, or include a life interest trust in your Will, to specify how assets are divided when the remaining spouse passes away? This can give you peace of mind that your intentions will be carried out.
It is very important, when making a Will, to seek tailored legal advice. This will help prevent potential legal disputes for your loved ones. For specialist advice, call Cherrie on: 02920 860628 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The question posed is based upon a hypothetical situation. The content does not constitute legal advice and is provided for general information purposes only.