If you have a partner, you may want to ensure that they are taken care of financially, after you pass away. You should consider drawing up a mirror will together, so you can co-ordinate your plans. Prestige Tax and Trust Services explains how to make a mirror will with your partner.
It is advisable that you learn how to write a will. This is legal document, which you can use to outline how you wish your estate to be divided up among your loved ones, after you die. Without a will, your estate will be dealt with by the British courts, according to the rules of intestacy. You may not be able to bequeath assets to certain loved ones, e.g. friends, as they are not covered by these guidelines.
There are several things you need to include in your will. You should name its executors, who are responsible for administering your estate. You should also outline how your assets should be divided among your beneficiaries e.g. your children. After you have written your will, you need to sign it in front of two witnesses aged 18 or over, for the document to become legally binding in the UK.
However if you have a partner, you may find it more advantageous to make a mirror will together. As the name suggests, a mirror will consists of two virtually identical wills created on behalf of a married, civil partnership or unmarried couple. In a mirror will, you promise to leave your whole estate to your partner if you pass away first and they pledge the same, shielding each other’s financial interests.
The key advantage of a mirror will is that it safeguards your partner’s financial future. This is especially useful if you are not married, as they may not be legally entitled to inherit your estate. You can also use a mirror will to appoint any guardians and trustees for your children, should you both pass away before they reach 18. In mirror wills, your partner serves as your executor and beneficiary. However, you can appoint additional beneficiaries and executors, just in case you pass away simultaneously.
Avoid inheritance tax
You can also use a mirror will to help avoid inheritance tax. You can pass your entire estate to your partner, inheritance tax free. You can also give them your nil rate inheritance tax allowance, after you die. Therefore, you and your partner can bequeath any portion of your nil rate inheritance tax allowance that you do not use first to each other in a mirror will. If you die first, your partner will be able to benefit from up to double the existing inheritance tax allowance (currently £325,000).
We should note that when it comes to inheritance tax and estate administration matters, the documents you and your partner draw up in a mirror will need to be identical. However, there can be other minor variations between your documents. For example you can add different additional executors. You should also remember that like a standard will, a mirror will can be altered or revoked at any time, should your circumstances change e.g. your relationship breaks down.
Prestige Tax and Trust Services
Therefore, a mirror will allows you and your parent to co-ordinate your wishes, clearing up confusion if one of your dies first, or you pass away together. You prepare a mirror will the same way you write a standard one, except you draw up two almost identical documents. It is wise to enlist expert aid when creating a mirror will, to ensure the documents are legally sound. As part of our wills services, the skilled Prestige Tax and Trust Services team can write a mirror will for you and your partner.