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Mirror & Mutual Wills

Mirror and Mutual Wills can be a great option for spouses to ensure their assets and interests are protected, while making provisions for the future of the family.

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Mutual and Mirror Wills Writing Service

Mirrors and mutuals are two types of wills sometimes created by couples. If you and your partner decide to draft your wills at the same time, you may wish to make sure that the wishes of one are reflected in the other.

If you and your spouse are planning for a time when one or both of you are gone, you may wonder what’s the best way to create wills that reflect your wishes and safeguard your assets for the benefit of future generations of your family.

Mirror Wills and Mutual Wills are the two ways you and your partner can ensure that the wishes you share for each other, and any children you have, are carried out in the event of your death.

At Rowlinsons our will, trusts, and estate planning solicitors help married couples and long-term committed partners create their wills together.  We can guide you step-by-step through the process of drafting your separate, but identical. wills and setting up a trust.

This ensures that the surviving spouse is taken care of after the first death whilst minimising the risk of future issues for your loved ones and maximising provisions for your ultimate beneficiaries.  

You’ll get straightforward expert legal advice from an award-winning full-service firm. Our expertise has gained us the Excellence in Private Client Award from the National Law Society in 2018. Rowlinsons Solicitors was also awarded Highly Commended in the Boutique Private Client Team of the Year category at the British Wills and Probate Awards 2023.

Our team includes some of the most prominent and renowned Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning Solicitors in Cheshire who are members of STEP (the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) further highlighting our specialism in this area of law.

Get in touch with Rowlinsons today for more information on how we can help you create your will and set up a trust in a will.


What are mirror wills?

Mirror wills are wills that two individuals draw up together that are essentially the same legal document. If two people – usually a married or long-term committed couple - have practically the same wishes for their estate after they die, they can each make a will that mirrors the other. As they are almost identical, it does not allow for many differences in the content. It is also important to note that either party is free to change his or her will at any time, without the other’s knowledge.

Mirror Wills are cost effective as it is usually less to draft one will and make a copy with some minor adjustments than it is to draft two separate legal documents. Mirror wills might be suitable for couples who own the same things and don’t have any other assets.

It is important to note that you can change a mirror will whenever you like and you don’t need the other party’s permission. They can even be changed after the death of the other party because there are no obligations binding them.


What is a mutual will?

A mutual will is when two people draft their wills at the same time and make them legally binding on each other. They can be mirror wills or completely different documents. In essence, you each make your will and sign a contract not to change it.

Typically, the couple agrees to provide for one another after the first person passes away and stipulates what happens to the estate after the second death. When the first person dies, the assets they inherit form part of a trust to safeguard them for the couple’s ultimate beneficiaries.

If the surviving party tries to change the distribution of the estate the law of equity will step in and prevent them from doing so by imposing a constructive trust over the estate to ensure the original terms of the mutual will are upheld. This means the other party must carry out the deceased’s intentions as set out in the mutually agreed will.

Historically, mutual wills were used to prevent a widow from disinheriting children from the first marriage in favour of a new spouse or subsequent children. The advantage is you have control over what your spouse does with their estate after you pass away.

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What is the difference between mirror and mutual wills?

A mirror will is the same legal document applied to two people, but either party can change their will at any time. A mutual will involves drafting your wills separately but making an agreement which prevents you both from altering your will. In each case, you are agreeing to the wording of the wills at the time they are made, but this is where the similarity ends.

A mutual will is binding on both parties and neither party can independently alter their will. With a mirror will, there is no such hold over the individuals involved and both parties are free to change their will at any time.

A mirror will is easy to change, but normally too general to adequately provide for each party’s needs so inevitably it will need to be altered at some point. There’s no real benefit to having an identical will other than cutting costs. Realistically, drafting an important legal document such as your last will and testament is not the time to look for a bargain and you may need to change it later anyway.

A mutual will gives you control over what happens to your assets after you die but is too restrictive and may cause problems for your loved ones later on. A professional wills and estate planning solicitor can advise you on the best way to plan for your and your partner’s future using a comprehensive and correctly drafted will. For more information get in touch with Rowlinsons today.


How can you best provide for your loved ones after your death?

Having a carefully drafted will is essential if you want to safeguard your assets for future beneficiaries. The best way to do this is for you and your partner to openly discuss at length your individual needs and wishes and then go ahead and draft separate wills.

If you want to secure your estate for the benefit of children or grandchildren the use of trusts in wills is an effective way to protect valuable family assets. A trust is a financial arrangement where you transfer ownership of assets into the trust for trustees to look after until the beneficiaries can receive them.

A life interest trust in a will offers you and your partner financial security for the future by securing an income and the right to remain in the family home for the surviving spouse while protecting the capital for the next generation.


Contact our Mirror & Mutual Will Writing Solicitors

Writing a will can be a complex process, so having the support of legal professionals with years of experience can take much of the stress away. Rowlinsons team of WIlls, Trusts and Estate Planning Solicitors supports clients across the country, and prides itself on the excellent level of client care and satisfaction that has made us a leading law firm in the area.

Our team includes some of the most prominent and renowned Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning Solicitors in Cheshire who are members of STEP (the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) further highlighting our specialism in this area of law.

When you choose Rowlinsons for your Will Writing, you can rest assured that your best interests will be protected, and your estate will be distributed exactly as you wish. Whether you have a moderate estate, own property, or have a portfolio of valuable assets, we can help you.

Our Solicitors in Cheshire based in our Frodsham and Runcorn (Sutton Weaver) offices regularly help clients through their will writing and estate administration process throughout the Northwest region including St HelensWidnesWarringtonChester, and Northwich. We are able to act for clients right across England and Wales, so talk to our team today.

Get in touch with Rowlinsons today for more information on how we can help you create your will and set up a trust in a will.