The importance of making a will in Scotland cannot be underestimated. Scottish will specialists at IWC can ensure your last wishes are fulfilled. These provisions will avoid unnecessary stress for your family and make sure your arrangements are inheritance tax efficient.
If you would like to make a Will we currently offer two services:
Making a Will in Scotland
Astoundingly, just less than 70% of the Scottish population do not have a Will. One reason for this is that people simply do not want to think about dying. Others are under the misconception that their estate will be inherited by their spouse and close family anyway.
Here`s an overview of what happens if someone dies without a will in Scotland and why it`s so important make plans for the future.
Dying Intestate in Scotland
When someone dies without a valid will, a representative for the deceased will be appointed by the Sheriff Court in the following order of priority; an individual who is entitled to inherit, next of kin, creditors, the procurator fiscal.Should no one qualify, all of your assets may be claimed by the Crown.
When applying for Probate in Scotlandthe executor-dative must obtain a bond of caution from an insurance company.This is a guarantee that the executor will distribute the estate in accordance with Scottish Succession Laws.This must be lodged at the Sheriff Court.
The Succession (Scotland) Act 1964 details exactly who inherits and how much of the estate they`re entitled to.Certain beneficiaries have `rights` to claim, detailed as follows-
1. Prior Rights – The rights and entitlement of the surviving spouse or civil partner.Your spouse will inherit property up to a £325,000, chattels up to £24,000, and cash up to a value of £75,000.
2. Legal Rights - If there are assets remaining after the satisfaction of prior rights, the surviving spouse is also entitled to claim legal rights.These apply to the moveable estate (money, investments and possessions).A surviving spouse can claim a half share of the moveable estate if there are no surviving children, this is limited to a third if there are.
3. The Free Estate - This is the remainder of the estate after expenses and legal rights have been settled.It follows an order of entitlement based on next of kin.
This may not be the way you wish your assets to be distributed. It may not be the most tax efficient way either - which can result in 40% of your legacy being swallowed up in inheritance taxes.
There are further complications when it comes to unmarried partners.Your common law spouse must go to court to obtain a settlement. The Court will decide how much your partner can inherit. This is based a number of factors such as how the joint finances were managed between the couple; did one support the other etc? This can cause serious financial problems for the surviving partner.
When making a will in Scotland it is advisable to employ the services of a professional who is familiar with Scottish wills and succession law. The rules and technical requirements for a valid will are extremely complex. For example, if you wanted to disinherit a spouse or child it is not entirely possible under Scottish law, however, you can limit their claims.
To make a will is simply to prepare for the inevitable. It ensures that the financial side of death is much easier for your loved ones to deal with, whilst making provisions to avoid inheritance tax.
If you`d like to speak to an advisor about Scottish Wills contact IWC with your enquiry.