Make a Will
If you haven't made a will or need to update it, please get in touch as soon as possible.
Make a will today.
Worried about what will happen if you die without a will? As we get older, many of us worry about how we can provide for our family. The only way to have your assets shared according to your wishes is to make a will. A will may also include specific funeral instructions. Having a valid and up-to-date will means your wishes are respected after you're gone.
Making a will also makes winding up an estate quicker, easier and cheaper. It can also reduce Inheritance tax, the tax which is payable out of your estate on death.
Scottish law on wills, trusts and executries differs from English law. For instance, the term 'probate' does not exist in Scots law. Probate is known in Scotland as confirmation. Application for confirmation is made to the local Sheriff Court, through the Sheriff Clerk. Click here for assistance in applying for confirmation.
Writing a valid will.
In order to be valid, your will must follow meet certain criteria. You must be legally capable of making a will. That is to say that you must be of sound mind and understand what you are doing. All the more reason to make one as early as possible.
The will must be in writing. How the will is written is not important. It can be in ink, pencil or typewritten. The will must also be signed by the person making it, and this must be witnessed by at least two other people.
Altering a will.
It is possible to add instructions to a will, to revoke a will and to alter a will. Again, there are specific legal requirements for each of these actions which is why it is worth consulting a wills solicitor. Sections can be added to an existing will, known as a codicil. Adding a codicil to a will does not replace the will, it simply adds another section detailing your wishes. So, for instance, you could add a codicil to include a family member who was not born at the time the original will was written.
Winding up an estate can be a long, complex, expensive process. A will makes it easier for your loved ones to wind up your estate and gives them comfort that your wishes are being respected, saving them unnecessary stress at a difficult time.
Dying without a will.
If you die without a will, you are said to die 'intestate'. Your estate is then divided according to law, depending on your circumstances (e.g. your marital status, whether you have children or nor etc). Neither you nor your family have any control over how your estate is to be divided after you have gone, unless you have made a will.
A will can also make provision for medical treatment in later life. For instance, it can include instructions about what type of medical treatment (if any) you are to be given if incapacitated. This type of will is known as a living will.
It is possible to make a will in conjunction with a partner, either by a joint will or a mutual will (also known sometimes as "mirror wills"). These wills confer reciprocal benefits on the surviving partner.
Making a will is easy with Gibson Kerr. Our expert wills and trusts lawyers can help you make a will today. Click here or contact us on 0131 208 2260.