Types of Wills
Which type of Will works for me?
There are many types of Will to fit all situations and scenarios. The main types are single Wills, mirror and pair Wills and living Wills.
A single Will is suitable for any individual looking to make a Will. The document usually determines who should inherit a person’s belongings, sets out funeral arrangements and states gifts and executors.
A single Will is ideal for people who are not married or in a civil partnership. Or people who are married but have completely different wishes to their partner.
A mirror Will is a set of two Wills that mirror each other. This allows two people to create a set of two Wills that have the same instructions.
It’s suitable for any couple, either married or not or in a civil partnership, if they have identical or very similar wishes. It is often more cost effective and easier to make a mirror Will than two separate Wills.
Pair Wills are effectively two separate single Wills, which can be used by unmarried couples, married couples, or those in a civil partnership. Pair Wills are used where a couple has different wishes to each other.
A single, mirror or pair Will usually includes:
- The name and personal details of the person making the Will (called testator)
- Who will inherit what of your estate (You can specify as many beneficiaries as you like)
- Any gifts and charitable donations you might want to make
- Your chosen funeral arrangements if you have specific wishes
- Guardians for your children
A living Will allows you to make decisions about your care for when you are incapacitated or unable to communicate your wishes. You can state what type of treatment you want to refuse in certain situations. A living Will is usually broken down into two parts called an advance statement and advance decision. An advance decision is legally binding and must be followed by your relatives and carers.
In an advance statement you can indicate your likes and dislikes when it comes to your care. This allows you to state how and where you would like to be cared for.
When writing an advance statement think of the following questions:
- Where would I ideally like to be cared for, at home or in a care home or hospice?
- Who should make decisions about my care?
- Is there anything I do or don’t like, eg. choices of food, TV, music, clothes, baths etc
- Is there anyone I don’t want to visit me?
An advance decision clearly defines your choices of care and makes sure these are followed by all those involved in your care. In this part of your living Will you can clearly state what kinds of treatment you want to refuse. You will need to be specific about what situations you want to refuse treatment in. You will not be able to ask for your life to be ended or request certain treatment. It is advisable to speak to a healthcare professional before making an advance decision.
If you need help or advice about living Wills or want to plan your care you can contact Age UK.