Mirror Wills and Mutual Wills – Clearing up the confusion
Mirror Wills and Mutual Wills – they both start with “M” but what is the difference?
Mirror Wills (or reciprocal Wills) are very common between spouses or people in long term relationships.
Each party makes a Will “mirroring” the other’s Will. The Wills often leave everything to each other (other than any specific gifts such as jewelry or other personal items) and then to their children if one has already died.
Mirror Wills reflect that the parties have common interests. Mirror Wills have the advantage of simplicity. Also, they do not unduly hamper the survivor who can change his of her Will to take account of changing circumstances.
Mutual Wills are a contract between two people to make Wills on binding terms. The terms usually provide that one party can change their Will with the prior consent of the other but not otherwise.
If one party dies, the contract will be binding on the survivor. The long established legal principle is that “the first that dies carries his part into execution and the Court afterwards will not permit the other to break the contract”.
Mutual Wills are a more complex and one should think about the ramifications carefully before going down this path – and seek specific legal advice. You can contact a Will lawyer on 9635 7966 or by using the website www.matthewsfolbigg.com.au