It is a worrying fact that only 37% of Scots have a Will. Many wrongly assume their spouse or partner and close family will automatically inherit their estate. Here are some reasons why you really must consider making your Will.
Your spouse or civil partner will not automatically inherit everything if you do not have a Will. For example, a spouse or civil partner would only be entitled to a £473,000 share of your family home. There are many homes worth much more. The amount of £473,000 is the figure applicable at September 2013. The amount may change in the future.
Surviving unmarried partners still have to apply to Court to obtain a discretionary grant of their rights to an estate. This can be costly, time consuming and is not guaranteed to be successful. A Will provides much more certainty.
A Will is the only way to ensure you can choose your own executors.
There are more procedures involved winding up an estate where there is no Will, such as the requirement to have a Petition prepared and presented to the Sheriff Court. Also, depending on circumstances, an insurance Bond of Caution may be required which makes the whole process longer and more expensive.
Without a Will your children will automatically inherit their share of your estate at the age of 16. With a Will you can defer payment until they reach 18 and have a trust section to ensure their needs are met until they reach that age.
A Will allows you full control over who will be the guardians of your children, should you die prematurely.
A Will can be drafted to minimise your liability to Inheritance Tax and, in some cases, Capital Gains Tax. Even having been through a deep recession, the increase in property prices over many years of ownership leaves many surprised to find their estate liable to Inheritance Tax.
Avoid the temptation of a “DIY” Will – there are too many things that can go wrong. Making a properly drafted Will is the only way to ensure your estate is distributed according to your wishes. Why not arrange to discuss your requirements with us?
Contact us on 01506 815 900 or email us now.