Contact Us To Make a Claim
Please complete the form below and we will contact you to discuss your case
Disputing a Will
Grant of Confirmation
Sheriff Court Offices
0845 218 0152
Scottish Intestacy - No Will In Scotland
Distribution of Assets When No Will is Present:
Virtually everyone in Scotland will possess assets as the time of their death. In fact, people today are far better off financially than previous generations and most own homes of substantial value. The only way you can be sure that your Scottish assets are distributed according to your wishes is to execute a legally enforceable will. A will is a document containing a set of instructions for the management of your estate after your death. The distribution of your assets is overseen by an executor you name in the will.
The Intestacy Rules In Scotland:
Of course, not everyone in Scotland makes a will and when no will can be found there are the intestacy rules in place to dictate the distribution of Scottish assets when a person dies intestate. These rules determine who is entitled to your assets based on legally defined degrees of relationship. A person qualified under the provisions applies to the court for a Grant of Confirmation in order to claim their share of the estate. A qualifying relative stepping forward is the best case scenario. Should no one qualify under the applicable rules, all of your assets may be claimed by the Crown. It is therefore critical that you formalize your wishes in a will that directs the distribution of all of your assets. The distribution that results from the application of legal rules may be far from what you want.
Common Mistakes in Scottish Wills:
Many people have chosen to make their own will with help from a “do it yourself” kit or reference book. Whilst there is no legal requirement that a solicitor in Scotland write your will, the DIY route is fraught with potential for mistakes. The rules, regulations and technical requirements for a valid will are complex. One seemingly small mistake can invalidate an entire will. Just ask one of the thousands of solicitors who makes good money by sorting out poorly drafted wills. The majority of these mistakes tend to fall into the same categories:
- failing to properly execute the document because of a lack of knowledge of signature and witness requirements
- failing to provide for the distribution of all your assets, which enables the State to claim them
- failing to account for the possibility of a beneficiary dying before the testator
- making improper alterations to a will which could invalidate all or part of the document
- not taking into consideration changes in relationships and familial structures such as birth, death, marriage, divorce and The Civil Partnership Act
- failing to adequately provide for dependents that have a legal claim to continued support
Lost or Revoked Will:
The testator, or someone acting on behalf of the testator, can revoke a Scottish will by physically destroying it. Tearing up or burning the will are both considered adequate for revocation. Accidental damage to a will does not cause revocation. The destruction must be intentional. Should the testator want to alter the contents of the will, it is not necessary to create an entirely new will. Rather, the testator can execute a legally binding amendment to the will known as a codicil.
Appointment of an Executor:
The executor is the individual appointed by the testator to oversee the distribution of their assets. An executor is named by the testator within their will and can be a friend, family member, bank, solicitor or accountant. Collecting all of the assets, paying off debts and distributing the residual estate to the beneficiaries are all part of the executor's duties. Because the process can be quite complicated n Scotland, many executors choose to hire a solicitor to act on their behalf.
Free Legal Advice:
Our nationwide panel of solicitors have extensive experience with wills, probate and grants of administration. Our panel solicitors have the courtroom skills to handle contentious cases, such as disputes over the validity of a will or a relative or dependent not named as a beneficiary making a claim to the estate. For advice on any matters related to wills and probate, use the contact form or helpline to reach one of our panel solicitors. Your initial consultation is free, and there are no further obligations.