A mirror will is a specific type of will that can be used when two spouses generally agree on how their assets should be split up and who the beneficiaries should be. It can be a great option for some couples, but not the ideal type of will for others. If you are thinking about opting for a mirror will, you may want to speak to a Fayetteville, Arkansas wills lawyer.
How Does a Mirror Will Work?
As its name suggests, a mirror will has essentially the same outcome no matter which spouse passes away first. When the first spouse passes away, the bulk of their property and assets go to their surviving spouse or partner. When both spouses have passed away, everything is split up how they agreed it would be.
People can also leave their own personal stipulations in a mirror will. For example, a husband can leave the bulk of the estate to their wife and also set aside personal items that can be passed down to other beneficiaries. They can say that their partner gets just about everything, but then leave a few things to a child, a friend, or another loved one.
Another interesting thing about a mirror will is that it can actually be changed after one partner’s death. A mutual will often contains a clause that would prevent such edits after death.
Is This a Good Type of Will if We Have Children?
While the primary beneficiary of a mirror will is usually the other spouse, this type of will can still be used if you have children. You or your spouse can easily leave certain things behind for certain people, like your children, and when both of you are gone the assets you have can be split up in a way that you both agreed to.
A mirror will also allows you to designate guardians for your children if they are minors. If you do not choose a guardian yourself, the court can choose for you. The person you would like to be a guardian might not be chosen. If you have multiple children, it is not a guarantee that they will stay together after your passing.
You and your spouse can both choose guardians for your kids. Strangely, despite the nature of a mirror will, you do not actually have to agree on who is chosen. You can also appoint a different person as a trustee, someone who can help your children manage their finances before they are at an age where they can handle that themselves.
When is a Mirror Will Not a Good Fit?
A mirror will can be tricky to use when the family relationships get more complex. For example, if you are dealing with a blended family and remarriages, it can be harder for two spouses to agree on everything. It could also be entirely unnecessary to leave everything to a spouse.
Talk to an Experienced Wills Attorney
Before doing anything, contact the Knapp Law Firm. A knowledgeable wills attorney can answer many of your questions and help you decide the best course of action.