Marriage and partnership will impact many aspects of your life, from how you spend money to whether or not you have children. However, something you and your spouse or life partner must consider is if you have similar wishes for your estate. Whether you’re married or unmarried, it is likely that you share assets, so discussing your options with each other is essential. One option you should consider is a mirror will, which you can establish with the assistance of PA wills, trusts & estates attorney. Keep reading to learn more about this option.
What is a mirror will?
A mirror will is a standard estate planning option for many couples, as it “mirrors” or reflect your spouse’s. Generally, this allows you to leave non-marital assets to your spouse, while they do the same. Similarly, this gives you the opportunity to detail who you would like to be the beneficiaries of your estate and how the assets will be distributed after you pass.
It is essential to note that you do not have to be married to create a mirror will. If you have lived with a partner for many years, you may realize that you have similar wishes for your estates. As such, you can utilize this option.
A mirror will also allows you to name each other as the executors of your wills if you wish. However, you may agree that another party may be better suited for this role.
What are the advantages and drawbacks?
If you are unsure if a mirror will is right for you and your spouse, there are considerations you must make. For example, this type of will may be in your best interest if the majority of your assets are the same as your spouse’s and you share few personal assets. Also, if you are unable to create a joint will, which is one document that both partners sign, this may be a good choice. One downside to a joint will that leads many people to create a mirror will is that a joint will becomes irrevocable upon the death of one spouse. As a result, you are unable to make any alterations, which can leave assets tied up.
However, a mirror will is not always an ideal option for all couples. For example, if you and your spouse married later and life and share few marital assets, it may not be a good idea to mirror a will. Similarly, if you have a large, blended family with beneficiaries on each side, you may not want to use this option as you each have your own needs to take care of.
When you’re ready to discuss your estate planning needs in further detail, Friedman Schuman is ready to help. Our dedicated legal team will help you explore all your options so you can make the most informed decision based on your circumstances. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.