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Why You Should Write a Will

Succession law is an area of law that we can all be sure we’ll come into contact with. At some point, most of us will inherit from parents or a spouse and we will all leave something behind when we die.

It’s easy to push away thoughts about what will happen to your property, possessions and money after you pass away. It’s not a pleasant thing to think about and you might avoid bringing up the subject with family members for fear of upsetting them.

However, there are many compelling arguments for confronting this topic and writing a will.

Succession Law Reforms

When a person leaves a will they are described as having died ‘testate’, and subject to certain legal requirements, their wishes will be carried out. When a person dies without leaving a will, they are described as having died ‘intestate’, meaning that what they leave behind will be distributed according to Scottish intestacy laws, known as the rules of succession. However, many people consider the current rules of succession to be at odds with modern society and unfair for some parties.

The Scottish Government is currently in the process of reforming these rules of succession. The Succession (Scotland) Bill was introduced earlier this year following a long process of consultation with the Scottish Law Commission and other bodies. Some proposed changes such as removing the distinction between heritable property (land and buildings) and moveable property (everything else, including money, shares and possessions) were well received because it is hoped that this may make the division of property fairer.

However, the Law Society of Scotland recently expressed concerns that some of the suggested reforms could work to effectively disinherit the children of the deceased. The Law Society argued that the share of the property that is being proposed to be left to the spouse is too high and would leave little or nothing for the children.

Write a Will to Communicate Your Wishes

There will be further discussions and consultations before any reforms come into effect. However, the fact remains that the only way to be sure that your property will be distributed in the way you would wish is to write a will. You might want to bequeath a personal possession to someone you cared about or leave money to a charity that was important to you. Without a will, these wishes cannot be enacted.

If you write a will you can decide, subject to succession rules, exactly what will happen to the property you have accumulated over your lifetime. You can also choose a person you trust to be your executor. The executor is the person who will calculate the value of your estate, settle your debts and distribute your estate to your beneficiaries. You may find it reassuring to know this responsibility will be carried out by someone you trust.

A close relative’s death can be one of the most difficult times for a family. You can help to make this time easier for your family by writing a will. This usually allows the estate to be wound up faster and can save any unnecessary heartbreak.

Expert Will Writing from Austin Lafferty Solicitors

The family law team at Austin Lafferty Solicitors are experienced in working closely with clients to draft a will that clearly and unambiguously communicates what they want to happen to their property after their death. We also provide expert executries advice and support.

Contact our family law solicitors on 0141 811 0228 or complete our online enquiry form.

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