Over the last year, we have experienced unprecedented demand from clients for Wills and Powers of Attorneys, so much so that we are expanding our team in this area. Our new team member will be starting in the next couple of weeks. Because of the demand, we thought it would be sensible to focus on some of the problems clients have described which led them to make a Will.
Why is it crucial to have a Will?
When it comes to estate planning, having a Will is crucial. However, a staggering 61% of people in Scotland don’t have a Will. Many assume that their estate will automatically go to their nearest and dearest, but this is not always the case. In fact, not having a Will can cause a lot of problems for your loved ones. Here are some of the reasons why:
Partner and Children from a Previous Relationship
If you are not married and have a partner, they have no automatic entitlement to your estate if you don’t have a Will. This situation can become even more complicated if you have children from a previous relationship who don’t get along with your partner. In this case, your children would be entitled to your estate, and your partner could end up evicted from the home you shared and left without any share in the assets you both worked hard to build up.
Spouse or Civil Partner
If you are married or have a civil partner, they have an entitlement to Prior Rights if you die without a Will. This means that they would inherit the family home, furniture, and a cash sum of money. However, each of these items has limits placed on their value, and if you have children from a previous relationship, this can significantly reduce the amount of cash your spouse or civil partner is entitled to receive.
After the Prior Rights have been exhausted, Legal Rights come into play, and your spouse or civil partner is entitled to receive one third of the remaining estate, while any children are entitled to receive one third of the remaining estate divided equally amongst them. After this, any child or children are entitled to the remainder of the estate irrespective of whether it is made up of heritable or moveable property.
If you have remarried and have children from a previous relationship, they have no automatic entitlement to receive anything from your spouse or civil partner when they subsequently pass away. This means that if your spouse or civil partner inherits all of your estate under the Prior Rights rules, your children would receive nothing when your spouse or civil partner dies.
The Bottom Line
Not having a will can cause a lot of problems for your loved ones. It’s important to consider your personal circumstances and ensure that your assets are distributed in the way you want them to be. Don’t leave things to chance – make a Will today to protect your loved ones’ interests after you’re gone.
In recognition of the increased demand for Wills and Powers of Attorney, we currently have a special offer of a 25% discount to any client who makes a Will and Power of Attorney before the end of April. Just contact Stacey Parker on 01383 629720 or email Stacey by clicking here.