We cannot stress too highly the importance of making a Will. Family and personal relationships are now more complex than ever and the absence of a Will can cause significant problems and put the interests of both the immediate family and any business connections at risk. We encourage all our clients to make a Will so that proper arrangements can be made, avoiding unnecessary expense, for those who survive us on our death.
Under Scots Law, everyone over the age of 12 can make a Will and there are many reasons for making one. A Will is a single document, which appoints executors with the responsibility for ensuring that your possessions (your estate) will be passed to your chosen beneficiaries according to the terms specified in your Will. You may think that you only have a small estate and it won’t make a difference whether or not you have a Will, but it gives you certainty about your affairs and gives certainty to your loved ones who survive you. If you subsequently wish to make small changes to your Will, this can easily be done by drawing up a Codicil.
Dying Without a Will / Dying Intestate
In Scotland, if you die without making a Will then your estate is divided and passed on according to the laws of intestacy, and this may not be the way you wish it to be distributed. For instance, your widow, widower or surviving civil partner will not necessarily inherit your estate in full, particularly if your estate is relatively large or you are reliant on savings or a life policy to pay off a mortgage. Another area where problems may arise is where there are children from more than one marriage. Or you own buy-to-let property. Download our free guide Intestacy.