Guidance, Advice & Assistance For Will Writing Scotland
We are here to support you through every stage of making a Will from beginning to end and to help provide peace of mind and legal expertise for a time when you are gone.
Making a Will is the only way you can plan precisely and specifically for the future after you’ve passed away by taking your own decisions about what will happen to your assets and wealth after your death, who will be your Executors and who will be named as your beneficiaries.
Even if you’re married, in a civil partnership or have children, your possessions may not automatically go to your surviving children or spouse. If you have no family members, you will still want to ensure that your possessions go where you wish, perhaps to a friend or to charities you support during your lifetime. It’s hugely important to specify your wishes in an official legal document.
What is a Will?
A Will provides instruction about the distribution of your estate after you die. In your Will, you’ll appoint an executor or executors. You will also verify who will be named as your beneficiaries.
In order for a Will to be valid in Scots Law, it must:
- Be made by a person who is 12 years old or over.
- Be made of the person’s own free will.
- Be made by a person who is fully aware of the nature of the document being written or signed, has a thorough understanding of their property and the identity of the people who will inherit it.
- Be made in writing.
- Be signed by the person making the Will on every page.
- Be signed by the person in front of a witness.
Even if you think you have nothing to leave, it is surprising how assets, life policies, pension policies and property values, as well as inheritances from others, can add up to make quite an impact.
What is an executor?
An executor is a person (or people) who will ensure the wishes specified in your Will are carried out. They organise, collect and distribute your possessions accordingly, paying off any outstanding bills or debts with the money left in your estate.
It’s normal to appoint at least two executors in your Will in case one of them dies.
You must think long and hard about who to choose as your executor(s). It’s an important job that carries a lot of responsibility, so you must choose someone you trust. If you do not specify your wishes or have a Will, an executor will be appointed for you by a court.
Why write a Will?
Many people can put writing a Will off, but it’s absolutely crucial that you take action to ensure your assets and wealth go to the people who matter to you after your death.
If you have a surviving spouse, civil partner, cohabitant or children, a Will is the best way of making absolutely sure that they are provided for appropriately. You can save your loved ones from unnecessary problems, money worries, or even family disputes by making a Will.
Writing a Will is not tempting fate. Indeed, it will give you peace of mind, enabling your executors to know your own specific wishes and therefore allowing them to act on your instructions so as to safeguard your loved ones. Dying without a Will is known as dying intestate, and depending on your circumstances, this could result in your assets going to distant relatives or to the Crown.
A Will can also act as a strategic document to help protect and preserve wealth and in particular, help alleviate concerns that may manifest themselves around the family home, second or subsequent marriages, children of different relationships and care home costs, to name but a few.
How do I write a Will in Scotland?
In order to write a Will in Scotland, you will first need to find a reliable solicitor, like our experienced team at J & H Mitchell WS. We will meet you in person (video call is also possible) to discuss your circumstances, assets and wishes. From there, we will support you with estate planning, legal advice, and your Will’s preparation.
Looking after our clients is paramount. Therefore, we offer a free no-obligation life phase review, which very much takes account of your testamentary wishes, designed to take an in-depth look at your life and your ambitions and what we can do to help you organise, prepare and plan for the future. Take the first step and contact any of our solicitors to make an appointment to take advantage of this complimentary introduction.