Many married couples and unmarried partners have prepared Wills leaving everything to each other and then to children or other family members. These are known as Mirror Wills. Usually they are sufficient for happy close knit families with each believing everything is secure following the death of one spouse/partner.
Unfortunately Mirror Wills are not secure and can be easily broken.
The surviving spouse/partner for example can change their Will after the first death and alter either the beneficiaries or the proportions the beneficiaries inherit. This may not be the same as the wishes of the deceased spouse/partner.
Again the surviving spouse/partner may develop a new relationship with a third party. If that happens and a marriage takes place but no new Will is made then the existing Mirror Will becomes defunct. This could mean that all of the assets inherited by the surviving spouse/partner will finish up in the hands of the third party through intestacy rules and the original intended beneficiaries receiving nothing at all.
It can be seen therefore that the wishes of the first to die with a Mirror Will may not be secure.
To prevent the Mirror Will from being dislodged some form of Trust in it is necessary to ensure the inheritance is received by the intended beneficiaries and cannot be dislodged under any circumstances.
Don’t forget ‘a broken mirror often means bad luck for someone’