Wills

Why should you have a Will?

Most people think that when they die their possessions such as a property and savings will automatically go to their husband, wife or children. This is not always the case, If you die without leaving a Will the law decides who gets what, not your partner or family.

What are the benefits of having a Will?

The main benefits of having a Will are as follows:

  • Your estate is distributed accordingly to your wishes and not the law of intestacy. If you are not married, your partner won’t have a right to your estate.
  • You decide who your executor is
  • You can appoint a legal guardian for children under the age of 16
  • You can leave funeral instructions
  • You can protect vulnerable/disabled beneficiaries from inheriting outright (care home fees, means-tested benefits)
  • You can make specific legacies or charitable donations.
  • In the case of a second marriage. You want to ensure that your children from your first marriage are protected.

What happens if I die without a Will?

If you die without a Will your spouse or civil partner is entitled to claim prior rights.

Prior Rights are as follows:-

  • The family home (if they live there) up to a value of £473,000
  • Contents of the family home up to a value of £29,000
  • £50,000 cash if there are children, £89,000 cash if there are none.

What is Moveable and Heritable Property?

The heritable property is land, buildings and things attached to the land. The moveable property is everything else in your estate which is not heritable such as money, cars, shares, investments etc.

What are the Legal Rights if you don’t have a Will?

In terms of Scottish Law, you cannot discriminate your spouse and children. Legal rights are available when you die without a Will as well as a situation where there is a will. The surviving spouse is entitled to one-third share of the net moveable estate. If either spouse or their children fail to survive, then the entitlement is one way.

Can you write certain people out of your Will?

In Scotland, if you do not adequately provide for your spouse or children, they can decide to claim their legal rights. Most children choose not to claim and are happy for the surviving parent to receive the residue of the estate.

Can a Will be altered after someone has died?

Yes, this can be done by Deed of Variation. Speak to your solicitor for all expert advice and benefits of verifying the terms of the deceased Will.

What is an executor?

An Executor is either appointed by the maker of the Will or by a court. The Executor is responsible for paying all debt of the deceased and distributing the assets to the beneficiaries. Most people tend to appoint their solicitor to act as executor as it removes the responsibility of winding up the deceased estate from family and friends.

Do you have to pay tax when someone dies?

Again, you should speak to your solicitor to obtain expert advice. This depends on the value of the deceased’s estate as at the date of death. There are many tax exemptions that can be claimed after death which can reduce inheritance tax liability.

Summary

Please contact Anna Dabrowska on 0131 524 9797 to discuss or arrange a no obligation meeting.