The purpose of this Guide is to assist you in giving clear instructions in connection with the preparation of your Will.
We suggest you consider the following in advance of your visit to our office:
An individual, charity or other party who receives something from a Will.
A gift left in a Will. It can be:
An addition or amendment to an existing Will.
A ratification by the appropriate Sheriff Court of an appointment of an Executor by a deceased in his Will. This term is known as probate in England.
The total value of everything owned at the time of death.
The person or people you choose to carry out the instructions of your Will. They can be a relative, a friend or your solicitor.
The person and people preferred by parents to look after their children in the event of their death.
The term used when someone dies without making a Will.
A tax deducted from estates with a value of more than a specific amount or nil-rate band set by the Government. Money left to your spouse or a charity is exempt. If your spouse pre-deceased you and did not use up their full inheritance tax allowance, the balance of their allowance will be available to your estate at the rate prevailing at your death.
The person making the Will.
An arrangement you can make in your Will to administer part of your assets after your death.
Under Scots Law, the surviving spouse or civil partner and the children of the deceased person can have certain rights in their estate. These are called Prior and Legal Rights. Such rights are unique aspects of our legal system.
When there is no Will, a surviving spouse/civil partner is entitled to Prior Rights and these are as follows:-
Whether there is a Will or not, the surviving spouse/civil partner and children are entitled to Legal Rights and these are as follows:-
A surviving spouse/civil partner is entitled to a one-half share of the net moveable estate if there are no surviving children. If there are surviving children, the right reduces to a one-third share of the net moveable estate.
Children are entitled to share in a one-half share of the net moveable estate if there is no surviving spouse/civil partner. If there is a surviving spouse/civil partner this right reduces to share in a one-third share of the net moveable estate.
Legal Rights claims only apply to what is termed as “moveable” estate. This includes banks and building society balances, shareholdings and investments, household contents and furniture, cars etc, but excludes land and buildings.
These rights can be claimed for up to 20 years after the date of death.
The act or process of officially proving the authenticity and validity of a will. See ‘confirmation’ above for the Scottish equivalent.