mirror wills

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Mirror wills are wills executed by two individuals that contain nearly identical provisions. Most commonly executed by married couples, the contents of each spouse’s will “mirrors” the contents of the other spouse’s will. For example, a married couple’s mirror wills may each provide that the deceased spouse’s entire estate is left to the surviving spouse. The most commonly used form of mirror wills each provide that the surviving spouse will inherit the decedent’s entire estate or, in the event that neither spouse survives, provide that their children will inherit the entire estate. Unlike mutual wills, mirror wills are not necessarily mutually binding and each will is independently controlled by each spouse. That is, either spouse may independently alter his or her will without consulting the other. While popular with married couples, mirror wills may also be executed by any pair of individuals, such as siblings, unmarried partners, or business partners.

[Last updated in July of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]