Recently, the BBC reported on a case of an Australian man who left a Will in the form of a draft unsent text message on his mobile phone. The Supreme Court in Brisbane ruled that the unsent draft text message could be considered the deceased man’s official Will.
With technology advancing all the time, this has raised the question: is a text message sufficient to create a Will in Scotland? The simple answer is no. The consequences of attempting to leave a Will in the form of a text message in Scotland would probably mean that your wishes would not be followed, that is to those who want to leave your possessions may not be the ones who receive them.
Making a Will
It is important to remember that the law in Scotland regarding a Will is different from the law in other parts of the UK. As things stand, in order for a Will to be valid in Scotland, it must be:
- Clear in writing
- Signed by the person who is making the Will at the bottom of each page
- Further signed by a witness on the last page
Top 3 reasons you should have a Will
- Without a Will, your estate (that is everything you own, for example, bank accounts and your house) will be shared in a way which is determined by the law. This may mean that the person(s) you wished everything to go to, will not go to them but instead, someone else.
- If you have children who are dependent on you, it is important to leave a will. This will ensure they are provided if the worst is to happen. Although it is important for everyone to make a Will, it is particularly important for those with young families. A Will not only allows you to provide for your family financially but you can also include who you want to look after your children after you are gone.
- A Will can make arrangements for the funeral. In what is likely to be a stressful time for the loved ones you leave behind, you can take care of your funeral arrangements, not only easing the process for your loved ones but also taking care of the expenses incurred for a funeral.
Remember tomorrow is never promised. It is never too early or indeed, too late to write a Will.
Ross Baron, Trainee Solicitor