What are the key differences between a Scottish Will and a English Will ?
The legal requirements for creating a valid Will differ between England and Scotland. In England, a Will must be signed by the testator and two witnesses to be valid. In Scotland, only one witness is required, but the testator must sign every page of the Will to ensure its validity. Witnesses in Scotland must provide full identification, including their address and ideally their occupation. It is important to know which court will administer the estate, as the Will must comply with the legal requirements of the respective country. Witnesses can also be beneficiaries in Scotland, but the Law Society of Scotland prohibits solicitors from preparing testamentary writings that contain a bequest in favour of themselves or a connected person, subject to only certain exceptions.
If there is no Will, the laws governing the inheritance of the estate differ between Scotland and England. In Scots Law, spouses and children have an automatic entitlement to inherit part of the Testator's movable estate, regardless of whether there is a Will. In England, there are no such automatic safeguards for spouses and children.
Legal Rights and Prior Rights are unique to Scottish law, providing certain priorities to a deceased's spouse and/or children. Legal Rights are considered a debt against the estate and must be paid before any legacy or payment is made from the Will to a beneficiary. Marriage does not invalidate a previous Will in Scotland, unlike in England and Wales.
Adopted children have the same Legal Rights as biological children in Scotland, but they cannot make a Legal Rights claim against their biological parent's estate.
In conclusion, it is crucial to understand the differences in inheritance laws between England and Scotland and to comply with the legal requirements of the respective court to ensure the validity of the Will.We Are Here to Help!