What are the different types of Wills, and which one is right for you?

When it comes to writing your Will, it may not be as straightforward as you think. There are several different Wills, and you will need to select the right one to suit your personal circumstances. We have undertaken the hard work for you, and below is a straightforward guide to the different Wills available. If you take 5 minutes to read though, you should be able to see which one is the right one for you and your family. 

Single Will

A Single Will is most common for people who are not in a relationship, or if you have different wishes and requirements for your partner. 

  • You will name the beneficiaries, and or charities, who you want to leave your property/assets/money to when you die
  • With a Single Will you will detail how you want to distribute your belongings between the people listed as beneficiaries, and you will include details of the specific items to pass on to them 
  • If you have children under the age of 18, you will name the person or people that you would like to look after your children in the event of your passing, and the person or people who would protect any inheritance you may leave to your children
  • Finally, you will include the individual or people who will look after, and oversee, your Will after your death 

Mirror Will

If you are married or are in a civil partnership, you may consider Mirror Wills.

A Mirror Will reflects the content of another Will and details what will happen to the other person in the event that they should die.

Generally, the only differences in Mirror Wills would be funeral requests.

If you are in a long-term relationship or marriage, a Mirror Will could be the Will that best suits your circumstances, and it is a more cost-effective option than creating two separate Single Wills. 

If one partner dies, they wish to leave their estate to the surviving partner, and when the surviving partner dies, they wish to leave their estate to the children, a Mirror Will should be considered

However, it is important that if anything significant changes in your circumstances such as divorce, births, or if you quite simply have a change of heart, that the Wills are reviewed and updated accordingly. If new Wills are necessary, ensure that the ‘old’ Mirror Wills are destroyed, to avoid any potential future disputes.

Trust Will

If you make a Will and choose not to want your estate, or part of your estate, to pass on to your beneficiaries, or specific beneficiaries when you die, then you should consider a Trust Will. There are several different types of Trust Wills, and you would select the one that looks after your estate in the way that is right for you and your circumstances. These are the Trust Wills you can consider:

  • Property Trust Will

A Property Trust Will can protect at least half of the value of a home, for a couple who jointly own a property, in England and Wales. 

To achieve this, your Will is written in such a way to put half of the value of the property into a Property Trust when the first person in the partnership dies, ensuring that the surviving person can live in the property for the rest of their life, BUT they won’t own the property in its entirety, in their own name.

When considering potential care home costs for a surviving partner, a Property Trust Will, will protect half the value of the home for children or beneficiaries named in the Trust. So, if the surviving partner needs to go through a financial assessment for a residential care home, half of the property, owned by the Trust won’t be considered.

  • A Flexible Life Trust Will

Upon your death, a Flexible Life Trust Will allows a named person, usually the spouse or surviving partner, in your Will to benefit immediately, whilst protecting any additional assets for other family members or beneficiaries. 

The surviving spouse, or named person, receives lifetime interest on the assets in the estate, with named trustees given the power to pay income and capital to the ‘life’ tenant. A Flexible Life Trust Will is flexible and a good option should you want your surviving partner or spouse to be provided for, during their lifetime, at the same time as protecting Trust assets for other beneficiaries, for up to 125 years.

  • Discretionary Trust Will

If you would like your Will to be managed by Trustees and to empower the Trustees to look after and distribute your Estate to your beneficiaries, a Discretionary Trust Will should be considered.

With a Discretionary Trust, your appointed Trustees will protect, manage, and distribute your estate. It is a flexible option and ensures that your family wealth is protected and managed for your beneficiaries, in most cases this is for grandchildren.

Living Will

A Living Will can also be termed as a Healthcare Directive or an Advance Directive. It is a legal document that allows you to state your wishes for end-of-life medical care.

When Estate Planning, it is advisable to consider a Living Will, as it can provide guidance for family members at a time of stress and anxiety. It will clearly express your wishes so that difficult decisions are not left to the family. Without a Living Will it is up to doctors and family members to decide between them what your wishes may be.

To discuss the right Will for you contact the Hello Estate Planning team on 0161 6765421.