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Contesting A Will In Scotland - Disputed Grant of Confirmation in probate

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Executors Duties In Scotland - Grant Of Confirmation

Executors Duties In Scotland:
Wills are written so that assets are distributed according to the wishes of the testator after they pass away. In the will, the testator names a person to serve as their executor. The executor is the person who actually carries out the instructions in the will. An executor can be a friend, family member, solicitor, bank or accountant. An executor can also be a beneficiary of a Scottish will. Before they can begin carrying out executors duties in Scotland, the appointed person must first obtain a grant of confirmation (the same as probate in England and Wales). To obtain the grant, the potential Scottish executor has to provide the court with a list of the deceased's assets as well as any liabilities. Executors are charged with the duty of collecting the deceased's assets, paying any outstanding bills or taxes and then distributing the remaining assets according to the instructions set out in the will. An executors duties can be time consuming, complicated and onerous. When a testator selects a friend or family member to act as their executor, the person named as executor will typically instruct a Scottish solicitor to act on their behalf.

Risks of DIY Wills:
In Scotland there is no legal requirement that you use a solicitor to write your will. People sometimes write their own wills, use one of the numerous do-it-yourself kits or hire a will writing service whose staff often hold no special qualifications. Although you don't have to work with a solicitor, attempting to go it alone or hire an amateur service is not advisable. Consider the value of your assets, especially your home. Do you feel confident leaving the fate of your beneficiaries up to a DIY kit or in the hands of someone with no real experience of wills? But what about the cost of having a will made? Believing that a solicitor is not within their budget is the number one reason people turn to these DIY wills. However, instructing a Scottish solicitor often costs the same, or less, than using a will-writing service. Not only are the costs comparable, a lawyer is qualified in ways that go far beyond just knowing the law. Solicitors must continue their professional education, carry insurance and contribute to a compensation fund. None of that can normally be said for a DIY service.

Mistakes Made in Scottish DIY Wills:
Writing a will requires a highly specialised skill set. Those unfamiliar with the law can easily make a mistake that invalidates the entire document, including failing to:

  • execute the will in accordance with legal mandates
  • select a witnesse who is not also a beneficiary
  • account for events such as birth, death, marriage and civil partnerships
  • adequately provide for dependents
  • provide for the distribution of all assets

The Crown Takes Everything:
Would you want the Crown to step in and claim all of your assets, totally depriving your beneficiaries of support from your estate? Such a scenario is not uncommon when will writing is left to an amateur. If you make a single mistake in executing your will, the whole document is usually void. Without a will, it's possible that your assets will go to the State. Any assets you do not distribute in the terms of your will can also be claimed by the Crown.

Revoking a Will:
Physical destruction is one way to revoke a will in Scotland. The destruction can be performed by the testator or by someone acting on the testator's behalf. A will that is accidentally damaged or destroyed is still valid. Under most circumstances, creating a new will automatically revokes the old will. It is not always necessary to write an entirely new will to make changes. Executing an amendment known as a codicil is one way to alter the content of a will.

Getting the advice you need:
When you need advice regarding wills or probate issues our panel of solicitors are here to help, whatever kind of situation you find yourself in. We can recommend you to the best solicitors in the country who are experienced in all matters relating to contentious probate issues, assisting executors with their legal duties and much more besides. By calling us or filling in the form you can benefit from free advice without further obligation from an independent solicitor.