Will Types- Which Type Will you Need?

When writing a Will you want to be sure that your wishes are met, and that you’ve tied up any possible loose ends. However, you obviously don’t want to pay over the odds to get there…

There are a few different types of Will out there – some will suit you better than others. Whilst our trusted Solicitors will always give you the soundest advice, it doesn’t hurt to have an idea of what you might be after. Thus, we’ve compiled a list of the different types of Wills, and when they’re best employed:

Single Wills

Despite the name, Single Wills are not only suitable for those who are not in a relationship, or who are divorced. Single Wills simply allow for an individual to record their wishes. These wishes are not only regarding the distribution of your estate, but also sentimental belongings, child and pet-care and even funeral plans.

Thus, if you are married, a Single Will may be appropriate if your partner already has a Will, or if you if have different wishes to your partner.

Single Wills can occasionally be useful if you are married with children from a past relationship. This is because you can divide your estate up between your spouse and your children. However, it is likely that a Trust Will is more relevant in this context.

Mirror Wills

As you probably suspected, a Mirror Will is usually utilised by couples whose wishes reflect each other almost, if not entirely, identically. As two separate documents are produced, this is often seen as a more cost-beneficial method of writing a Will.

Furthermore, there is room for manoeuvre regarding funeral plans and sentimental belongings. So, when one spouses passes, the entire estate is passed to the living spouse. When this individual dies, the estate will then be distributed as stated in the Mirror Will.

It is vital that you are aware that a Mirror Will does require a high level of trust. Mirror Wills can be changed by either party at any point without telling their partner. In addition, if a spouse dies, the living person can completely change the Will after their partner’s passing. Sadly, there have been many cases of surviving spouses cutting out step-children from their Will to solely benefit their own children or their new spouse.

If you wish to avoid the possibility of this then a Trust Will can provide more security.

Trust Wills

There are various types of Trust Wills, each with their own nuanced benefits. However, on the whole they simply allow for trustees and beneficiaries. The trustee(s) is the person who manages the trust, for example a close friend. The beneficiary/ies is the person or people who benefit from the trust, often the person’s children.

Trust Wills are possibly the most secure form of Will, as they cannot be altered in the way that a Mirror Will can be, for example.

Trusts are beneficial in that you can provide funds for those who cannot manage their own finances, such as children or adults with learning disabilities. Furthermore, creditors cannot access trust funds which is useful if the beneficiary is in debt or is bankrupt.

Below are two major types of Trust Wills:

  • Property Trusts – A Property Protection Trust (PPT) allows you to protect the capital of your property whilst allowing for selected individuals to reside there as tenants. This can be an appropriate choice if, for example, you wish to save the property capital for your children, but want your current spouse to be able to remain in the property whilst they are living.
  • Flexible Life Interest Trust Will – This trust is like a PPT but allows for selected beneficiaries to receive an income from the trust. For example, a surviving spouse will receive funds to live on, and then once they have passed, the remaining funds will be distributed amongst the remaining beneficiaries. This type of trust is very useful as it allows for more discretion and flexibility (hence the name) regarding funds being given out.

 

Living Will

A Living Will, often referred to as Advance Decisions simply outlines what courses of medical treatment you do not wish to undertake should you not be able to communicate your own decisions.

For example, you may decide that you want to write a Do Not Resuscitate order into your Living Will.  Alternatively, you may choose which treatments may be used for long-term illnesses such as cancer.

Writing a will can be a daunting process, and you may have felt worried that you were going to be confused by legal jargon. I hope that this has provided you with some clarity about which type of Will may suit you best. To get started with your Will, use our easy Will Writing Service, give us a call on 0800 862 0605, or email info@lifelaw.co.uk.