Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Can my Spouse Change Their Will After I Die?


Wills Solicitor Hertford
Article by
Sharon Brown

The simple answer to this question is yes.  A Will is an individual document, which can be changed at any time (provided the testator has capacity to do so).

However, if two people have made “Mutual Wills” they have agreed not to amend their Will without the consent of the other person.

Many people confuse Mutual Wills with Mirror Wills, which is the term given when two people make very similar Wills at the same time, for example, everything to their spouse followed by their children.

It can prove advantageous for your spouse to be able to change their Will, for example, if they met a new partner or if tax rules changed in the future, they could plan efficiently.

If you wish to ensure that your children will inherit something even if your spouse does change their Will after you have passed away, there are a number of options and you should contact me for an appointment to discuss your specific circumstances.

One common way of achieving this is to sever the tenancy on your home.  For many families the home is the main asset.  If you own your home as “joint tenants” it automatically passes to the surviving owner, regardless of what your Will says.  If two people own the home as “tenants in common”, they can each leave their share in accordance with the terms of their own Will.

This means that, for example, a husband can state in his Will that his wife can continue to live in the property for the rest of her lifetime, even though she never owns the whole of the property.  When wife then dies, husband’s Will states that his share of the property passes down to his children.  Wife would have been free to change her Will in her lifetime to leave her share of the property to anyone she chooses.

If you have further questions, or would like to arrange a free appointment to discuss your Will or property, please telephone me on 01992 422128 or email Sharon@gardenhousesolicitors.co.uk

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www.gardenhousesolicitors.co.uk

Tel: 01992 422 128

Email: info@gardenhousesolicitors.co.uk
The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

1 comment:

  1. This is an excellent article. So many people get confused between Mirror & Mutual Wills and think that a Mirror Will means their spouse is bound by the terms even after their death. Well done Sharon for clarifying this issue up in a clear and concise way.

    Kind Regards,

    Sarah

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