19 June 2012
Approximately one third of people in the UK die every year without leaving a Will. For younger people this can be up to 90%. This results in people inheriting their estate whom they may not have intended and extra expenses and administration in winding up their estate. All these factors could have been avoided by making a Will.
Why do I need a Will?
If you die without a Will, Scots law will determine who inherits your estate. These may not be the people you wish to benefit.
I’m married. Surely my whole estate would pass to my spouse?
Not necessarily. Depending on the value of your estate, if you die without children, your parents and siblings may be entitled to part of your estate. This could even include part of your house.
So if I have children, all my estate would pass to them and my spouse?
Yes, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need a Will. If your children are under 16, complexities would arise and advice regarding their share of your estate would have to be taken from a public body. Even if they are over 16, you may not want them to inherit at such a young age and postponing their inheritance can only be done via a trust in a Will.
I’m not married but I have a partner. Would they inherit if I died without a Will?
Not automatically. Your partner could be entitled to part of your estate, but he or she would have to instigate legal action in the Sheriff Court to pursue this. There is no guarantee he or she would be awarded anything.
I already have a Will. How often should I update it?
We recommend you look at your Will every 5 years or on a significant family event, e.g. birth of child or grandchild, marriage, divorce or death. Changes will not always be required but, it’s better to check with a solicitor if you are not sure.
So what do I do to ensure those I want to inherit do?
Make an appointment to speak with someone in our specialist team. A draft Will can be sent out to you to consider and a final one sent to you to sign. The whole process can be dealt with very quickly.