Legal Will Writers of Aberdeen, Inverness & Moray

 Making Your Will.......some important decisions

Having taken the decision to make a Will, possibly for the first time,there are a few points you should consider before making an appointment with us.

As professional Will Writers, our job is to take your instructions and translate these into your Will, creating a document that accurately reflects your wishes.

The Will needs to be understood by your executors and most importantly, the Sheriff Court, to ensure that it is proved quickly (in Scotland the executors apply to the court for confirmation) to minimise any problems that may occur, causing delays and possible hardship for your loved ones.

There are some inportant questions which your need to consider before our meeting. By having many of the answers available it will leave more time to discuss the other important issue which may arise during the consulation.

A Will can only be made by an individual (testator) who has the requiste capacity to do so. The term capacity has two main meanings.

  • Being of full age which is over the age of 12 in Scotland but usually an adult
  • Being mentally capable of understanding the nature of the document they are making i.e. being of sound mind

 

       1. THE APPOINTMENT OF EXECUTORS 

You do not need to appoint other ´professionals´  to act as an executor or trustee of your estate, unless there is a likelihood of a complex Trust arising. Professional executors will charge your estate to act, and in many cases, for duties that a layperson could have done.

It may be better to appoint a member of your family, a prime beneficiary or close personal friend to act, remember:

An Executor Can also be a Beneficiary

 

If you need to appoint a professional executor,you should consider appointing either a solicitor, a Chartered accountant or a Trust Corporation to act on your behalf. We will be able to advise you on the best one in your circumstances and give a guide to the fees they are likely to charge.

     

       2. APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIANS

Only if you have minor children (under the age of 16 in Scotland) will you need guardians.

It may be helpful to make at least one guardian a joint executor, they do have a right to money from your estate to  help towards the cost of bringing up your children. If you wish to restrict the amount to which they are entitled, it may be wise to leave the money in Trust, again we will be able to advise you on the suitability of such a scheme. One should always remember though that Trusts sometimes can be expensive to administer over a long period.

If you have disabled children who are likely to require specialist care either at home or in the care of the local authority, a trust will be required to ensure that adequate funds are available for their future. There are several Trust Corporations run by charities that can help,again we can give you individual advise in these circumstances.

  

     3. PROPERTY

How you hold your property will determine how it passes on your death. In Scotland the spouse has ´prior rights´ to a portion of the estate but they do not automatically inherit it all. If the deceased has left a Will then the ´prior rights´ are not applicable. If you wish to passyour ínterest´ in the property to your children or others, you should hold your property as Ownership in Common rather than ´Joint Tennants´.  (See the section "What Property is Yours")

 

     4. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Specific Gifts - decide now if you wish to leave any other members of the family or friends a special gift.

Pecuniary Legacies - this is the term for a gift of money, again give some thought as to anyone, other than your spouse or children, to whom you may wish to leave a legacy, this also can include gifts to your favourite charity (if a charity, try to have the address and registration number available)

Free Legacy - Called the ´Residual Legacy´ in the rest of the UK. This covers all the remainder of yoyr estate.

Long Stop - also described as the ´disaster clause´, so called because these beneficiaries only inherit if all those named as your    ´Free´ beneficiaries fail to survive you.

Funeral Wishes - youmay choose to ignore this section. For those that wish to leave instructions such as cremation or burial and whether flowers or donations are to be given, you should complete  this section. It must be pointed out that whatever your request, these wishes are only a wish and not binding on your executors to carry them out if they are unable to.

AND FINALLY - whatever you have put in your Will - and it is personal only to you - make sure that your executors can find it when the time comes. Tell them where you keep your Will and how they can get access to it.

 

 

For a Free consultation or information pack on making a Will contact us now by email info@legalwillwriters.co.uk