The portrait of the modern family keeps evolving and it is now rather commonplace even here in the UK to see couples with one or more divorces and marriages between them.
This brings about new complexities as regards managing finances and ultimately where and to whom one’s estate passes; thereby causing a shift in the landscape of traditional family Wills and particularly highlighting the inefficiency of Mirrored Wills.
‘Mirror Wills’ is a common legal expression used when a couple each make virtually identical wills. For example, Mr X’s Will might say: ‘I give everything to my spouse on death, but if s/he dies before me it goes to the children.’ Mrs X’s Will would say: ‘I give everything to my spouse, but if s/he dies before me it goes to the children.’
They are simple enough but do little to protect the wishes of the spouse who dies first as the surviving spouse can very easily alter the wishes subsequently after death of the first spouse.
Indeed, a recent report by the Ministry of Justice shows there has been a steep rise in the number of Wills being contested in court, a lot of which is attributable to the increasing complications that ex-relationship, divorces and successive marriages come with.
It has never been more important to review your arrangement and tighten any gaps for the redirection of your estate.