How will you arrange for your care if you become unable to look after yourself? What do you want to be done with your property when you pass away? Who do you want to be responsible for executing your last wishes? At McLennan Adam Davis Solicitors, we understand that these questions are not particularly pleasant and that many people are reluctant to consider them. It is important, however, that they are answered sooner rather than later. We take pride in offering a service that lets our clients make important decisions about their lives, both in terms of their care and their property.

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Wills Solicitors Ayr, Troon, Kilmarnock, Irvine and Glasgow

Over the course of our lives, we will have amassed a considerable amount of property. Our homes, collections, personal effects and even our savings will be left after we pass away, and it is important for us to leave some indication of what we would like to be done with them. This is where it can be very useful to have a will drafted by a specialist solicitor.

A will is a legally binding document that sets out all of your property, and what you would like your family or close friends to do with it after you die. You may perhaps have a sum of money that you would like to be given to a certain family member, or invested to provide for future generations. Alternatively, you may want to ensure that certain pieces of your property are distributed amongst surviving relatives, or donated to a charitable or educational organisation. Wills are incredibly useful in giving you complete control over your affairs, and also avoid the unpleasant situation of there being no will, which may cause infighting amongst those who survive you.

At McLennan Adam Davis Solicitors, our team of solicitors can advise you on how best to plan for what your last wishes may be. We are experts in drafting wills clearly, and with sufficient detail so that there is no doubt as to what you wish to be done with your property when you are no longer around.

Will Advice Information

The making of a Will can be a difficult process for many people.  At McLennan Adam Davis we provide this service to make it as painless an exercise as possible.  A Will comes into effect only on the death of the Testator and may be altered or revoked by the Testator at any point prior to death (unless in limited, exceptional circumstances).  We believe a Will is essential both to make life easier for the family, and importantly to provide your instruction in relation to your Estate at your death.

Reasons Why Clients Should Make a Will ?

1. By leaving a Will you have control over distribution of your estate and who you wish to inherit subject to legal rights provisions.

If you do not leave a Will then your estate will be distributed according to the Law of Intestacy which may not correspond with your own particular wishes.  Within a Will you can determine whom you would wish to benefit in terms of your estate.

2. If you are unmarried and have not made a Will considerable expense would be incurred by your partner to make a claim upon your estate.

If you are not married and are living with a partner and you wish to categorically ensure that they inherit your estate it is vitally important that you make a Will.  A cohabitant can claim under the Family Law Scotland Act 2006 if you die intestate but unfortunately the procedure and the expense incurred in making such a claim is quite considerable and ultimately if there are children it may not mean that your partner would be entitled to either your whole estate or to as much of your estate as you would wish that party to receive.  A will is therefore essential in this scenario.

3. Within your Will you can determine your executors who will then handle your affairs.

4. You can save inheritance tax.

5. You need to check your Will regularly.

If someone within your Will has predeceased you, or you divorce, you require to ensure that you have not left any of your estate to be partially intestate and you, therefore, need to ensure you update your Will on a regular basis.

6. The costs and time involved with the administration of an executry estate are greater if you die without leaving a Will, rather than leaving a Will.

McLennan Adam Davis recommends that you regularly review your Wills.  As a matter of course, we will forward a copy of your completed documents which should be retained and should be reviewed by you on a regular basis to ensure the provisions of the Will meet with your requirements.  This is your responsibility and if any amendments require to be made then early contact with us is recommended.

Some examples of eventualities that can occur which may require you to re-address the contents of your will could be:

  1. An addition to the family
  2. The death of someone named in your Will
  3. A change in your financial position
  4. A change by the Treasury as to how Capital is taxed in the United Kingdom in particular with regard to Inheritance Tax.

The main purpose behind your Will is to distribute your Estate to whom you wish upon your death. 

In order to prepare your Will as quickly as possible it is imperative that we are provided with clear instructions and importantly details as to the assets of your Estate including any property which may be jointly owned or under survivorship.  Clients inevitably misidentify and under value their estates.  If you consider the last few years in Scotland, house values have in some cases doubled.  The value of furnishings, personal effects and jewellery require to be taken into account and particularly where IHT is an issue, these items will require to be property valued.  Property held jointly i.e. – bank accounts, or indeed heritable property, each parties interest in the property requires to be taken into consideration as an asset of their own estate for the purposes of considering their Will.  Monies may also be payable under life assurance policies, death in service benefit schemes, personal pension policies.  These could result in a substantial liability, if not dealt with through a Will for inheritance tax.  With life assurance policies, figures do require to be provided but if the benefit is payable to some other person it may not come into the deceased’s estate.  Personal pension policies and retirement annuity contracts and death in service benefits can in most cases be set up in trust in order that they do not come into your estate.  Such policies benefits are capable of being written in trust for selected beneficiaries.   

It is therefore imperative and we recommend that wherever possible when making your Will that you consider the assets of your individual estate and provide the draftsmen with accurate information so that a determination can be made whether IHT planning is something that requires to be considered within the terms of your Will.

A distinctive feature of Scots Law is Legal Rights which cannot be defeated within the terms of a Will.  They protect family members from being disowned within the Will.  You cannot therefore exclude your spouse or children as they will have a right to their Legal Rights against the Net Moveable Estate either for one third or one half share depending upon the surviving parties if they are not mentioned within your will. Scot’s law does not allow a situation to arise where a spouse or issue can be disinherited unless your estate is solely heritable property upon which no claim can be made against for legal rights.  Under the Succession (Scotland) Act 1964 as amended those who are entitled to claim legal rights and are also left under the Will are put to election.  If they claim the benefit under the Will they will forfeit their entitlement to legal rights and vice versa.

Within your Will there is a standard “Informal Writings Clause” which allows you the facility to make simple amendments to your Will.  If you are considering a simple change but are unsure, we would always recommend that you contact ourselves in order to clarify how best this should be attended to.

The emphasis is on the client to regularly review the terms of the Will and to inform the Solicitor as early as possible if any amendments require to be made to a Will which you may have with us.  We cannot emphasise this point enough and clients should ensure that regular reviews are undertaken.

McLennan Adam Davis accept no responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance upon the information provided within our guidance leaflets and you should obtain legal advice if any issues are a concern to you.

Contact our Private Client Solicitors Ayr, Troon, Kilmarnock, Irvine and Glasgow

McLennan Adam Davis Solicitors is a firm of dedicated legal advisors working throughout Ayrshire, dedicated to providing clear and comprehensive legal advice tailored to our clients’ individual circumstances and needs. We are very proud to serve our clients, providing access to specialists across all areas of the law in their local area. If you want to speak to a compassionate and understanding team of lawyers, who offer clear and affordable legal advice on any aspect of the law governing wills, executries or powers of attorney, please contact our team.

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