The idea of having to agree how your property is to be distributed amongst your family when you are no longer around can seem like a very morbid activity. As a result many people choose to avoid it altogether, believing that even if they don’t plan, everything will be organised perfectly well without the need for their input. This is not the case.

Will Solicitors Motherwell, Lanarkshire

Here we provide a guide on why it is very important that family members make a Will for when they are no longer alive. Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be very emotional for family members left behind, and having a Will to refer to can make this process much less stressful.

What is a Will?

The single, most effective way of ensuring that your wishes for your property and family are honoured when you are no longer here is to write them down in a document that is protected by law. This document is called a Will.

Over the course of your life, you will have gathered many possessions that will have both financial and emotional value. Having a Will ensures that you have complete control over what happens to these items and that there will be no interference from other parties.

It is very important to understand that a Will is a written document that is recognised by law. Therefore there are certain conditions that will have to be met before a Will is deemed to have been correctly drafted. These include the requirement that the decision to make a Will was entirely your own, without any pressure or interference from other people. This means you need to provide evidence that you have drafted and understood the terms of a Will by signing it yourself and having a witness also sign the document.

You need to appreciate that only what is written in the Will can be carried out. Any ambiguities will mean that your wishes may not be able to be carried out as you would have wanted. It is therefore important to get professional advice to ensure your Will is diligently drafted and clearly sets out your wishes in legally binding terms. 

What to include in a Will?

A Will is legal evidence of what you intend to be done with your property when you are no longer here.  Therefore everything, i.e. your assets, your liabilities, personal possessions, investments etc, has to be included in your Will.

You may also be involved in a business of some kind. It would be wise to include your interest in that business in your Will, so that your family understand what is to happen to this and to prevent any infighting in the future.

Another important part of the process of creating a Will is the deciding on who is to administer your Will.  This involves selecting someone to act as your ‘Executor’. This is someone that you have chosen to follow the terms of the Will as it has been written. The role of Executor is incredibly important as it involves handling all of your estate, including paying any outstanding taxes that become due.

What happens if there is no Will?

The decision not to make a Will, or forgetting to include something in a Will does create a problem. Where there is no Will, your property will become ‘intestate’. This means that when you pass away, your property will be distributed, not according to your wishes, but according to the rules of intestacy contained in the Succession (Scotland) Act 1964.

The rules state that your surviving spouse and children will be entitled to a share in your estate. However the proportion that they are entitled to depends on the value of your estate when you die, and may mean that one party may be allotted more than the other. This can cause a lot of stress among family members, and can lead to a lot of disagreement.

Contact our Will Solicitors in Hamilton, Scotland

At J Watson Scott & Co Solicitors Hamilton our Private Client lawyers understand that you may be very wary of handling this complex area of the law. They will work with you to help you plan effectively for your family when you are no longer here. Our Hamilton office is convenient to Motherwell, Larkhall and areas beyond. Contact us today to find out more.

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Office Location / Contact Information

J. Watson Scott & Co Solicitors
Unit 3
McAdam House
1 Cadzow lane
Hamilton ML3 6AY

Tel: (01698) 282 370
Fax: (01698) 423209
DX HA 64

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