Death is inevitable, but many still put off deciding what will happen with their estate when they die. Explicitly stating what should happen to your estate on the event of your death is a straightforward, relatively inexpensive task and gives your loved ones some peace of mind for the future.
The vast majority of people don’t think twice when it comes to taking out insurance. Often it is a legal obligation. However, two thirds of adults in Scotland do not have a Will in place. It is, without doubt, a sensitive topic that is uncomfortable to talk about. Therefore, many would prefer to delay it until they absolutely need to discuss it. Unfortunately, this can sometimes be too late.
At Plenderleath Runcie, we believe that writing your Will early will help your family in the long run, and bring that much needed peace of mind for their future.
A Will ensures YOUR wishes are carried out
If you die without making a Will (known as intestacy), the law will decide how your estate is distributed on your death. This may not be the way that you wish your assets to be distributed, and only a valid Will can give clear direction, according to your own wishes, on how your assets should be shared out after your death.
A Will passes responsibility to an Executor/Executors
In constructing a Will, you appoint an executor(s) who ensures your wishes are carried out. Without a Will, you may need to go to court to appoint an executor which can delay the process, add legal costs, and the executor appointed may not be the most suitable for the job. Writing a Will allows your wishes to be carried out by the person(s) you deem most appropriate.
A Will protects your children’s future
A Will can instruct your executors to set up a trust for your children so that monies can be made available for their maintenance and education as they get older. This can be tailor-made, allowing you to specify guidelines on how you wish the trust to be administered. You can also name a guardian(s) in your Will to look after your children should the worst happen.
A Will can reduce your tax liability
In certain circumstances, inheritance tax will be payable on your estate. We can give you advice on the possible tax implications, helping you weigh up the options and advising you on how it might be possible, through your Will, to reduce your tax liability. One way this can be achieved, for example, is including a charity or charities in your Will.
A Will can help you give back
Most charities rely heavily on bequests in Wills, and many charities can suggest a variety of options for this purpose. Whether you leave a specific sum or share of your estate to a charity or a selection of charities, you can be assured that you are contributing to a cause close to your heart.
We have listed just some of the benefits writing a Will can bring to your family. Whilst making up your own Will is possible, we would strongly recommend that you have this professionally drawn up. The objective of making a Will is to clearly specify your wishes so that these can be carried out efficiently on the event of your death. Your Will must be legally valid to make this possible and a poorly prepared Will without legal consultation can cause more problems than it solves.
At Plenderleath Runcie, our Wills and Executries team have the knowledge and experience to take you through each step so that you fully understand the ramifications of your requests, as well as ensuring your Will is legally valid and easy to comprehend.
Whether you are considering writing your Will, or you’re looking into making updates or amendments to your current Will, contact us using the enquiry form below to set up an appointment.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is based on Scots law and certain parts may not be applicable outwith Scotland.