Frequently Asked Wills Questions
How much does it cost to make a will?
Costs start at £80 plus VAT, depending on the complexity of the will.
Can I leave my estate to whoever I want in my will?
Yes – however, there is a ‘but’. Scots law does not allow you to completely disinherit your spouse or children. The law provides certain limited ‘legal rights’ for these people.
Who can I choose to be the executor of my will?
You can choose any person with full legal capacity – for example, a family member, a friend or professional adviser such as a solicitor or accountant. For practical purposes, it is best if they are over 18.
What does the executor actually do?
The executor is responsible for working out the size of your estate, gathering all the estate together, and then ensuring that it is distributed according to the terms of your will.
Can an executor also be a beneficiary of my estate or does it rule them out?
Yes; however the witness to your will should not be an executor or a beneficiary. An executor can still be a beneficiary from your will; however, witnesses can’t be.
How many people do I need to witness my will?
A will must be signed by the ‘granter’ on every page but only one witness is required and they only need to sign the last page.
Once I’ve made my will, can I change it?
Yes. If you want to make any changes to your will the simplest way – and to ensure that there is no confusion after your death – is to make a new will which includes the changes. You can also then destroy all the copies of your old will if you wish.
What is Inheritance Tax and how much is it?
This is a tax which is usually paid after someone dies and leaves an estate worth more than the inheritance tax threshold, which is currently £325,000. There are also a number of exemptions ands ‘reliefs’ that are allowed.
Why don’t I just write my will myself?
Our experience shows that home-made wills often contain errors that can cause delays and additional stress for loved ones after somebody dies.
Who gets my estate if there is no will?
If you don’t write a will then there are certain legal regulations set down as to who inherits what from your estate – and often it’s not what you might think. It may not be that everything goes to your husband, wife or partner as children have certain legal rights and so do other family members. If you and your partner are not married then the position can be even more complicated
How long does it take to wind up an estate?
This depends on the size and nature of your estate. It is also recommended that an estate is not distributed within 6 months of the date somebody dies, as that is the length of time that a creditor has to make a claim on an estate.
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