Have you ever thought about what will happen to your stuff when you die? We know that the subject of death isn’t really a hot topic. But it is inevitable – we’re all going to check out at some point. It’s time to remove the stigma surrounding the conversation of death and get planning for what will happen to your hard-earned assets when you start pushing up daisies.
What is a Will?
A Will is a written legal document detailing what you want to happen to your assets once you die. By writing a Will, you can name the people that you want to inherit your assets. You can also set out a plan for your funeral – hopefully saving potential family disagreements in the process.
What happens if you don’t have a Will?
One of the most important reasons for having a Will in place is to set out who you want to be the legal guardian of your children. If you haven’t named someone to care for your dependent children, the court will appoint a guardian. This can be a lengthy process, and the person who ends up responsible for your kids may not be who you would have wanted.
The same can be said about your fur-babies. If you have pets, you can name who you wish to care for them if you were to die. You can also arrange a financial package for the person that you want to look after them, so any food or vet expenses in the future are covered.
Now, what happens to your financial assets, you ask? If you die and you haven’t prepared a Will, your estate will be distributed according to the Succession (Scotland) Act 1964.
In Scotland, Succession Law does not take cohabitants into account if someone dies without leaving a Will. So, even if you have been living with your partner for forty years prior to your death, they won’t automatically be entitled to any of your estate if you don’t write a valid Will. Your partner can go to court to claim on your property or other assets. However, this can be time-consuming and stressful for your loved one, who is already dealing with losing you. And, it’s not set in stone that they will be successful in their attempts, either.
Writing a valid Will means that you make sure that the people you want to inherit your belongings actually do inherit them. This gives you peace of mind and can help to avoid arguments about who gets your car, a share in your house, or even the sentimental stuff, like jewellery and clothes.
What does an executor of a Will do?
When you arrange your Will with your solicitor, you will have to choose someone to be the executor of your Will. This is the person who will be responsible for uplifting your assets and meeting any outstanding liabilities before your estate is distributed to your beneficiaries. Therefore, it’s important to choose someone like a solicitor, friend or family member who you trust to oversee all of this. If you don’t name an executor in your Will, then the law will dictate who is entitled to be appointed as your executor by the court.
How much does it cost to make a Will?
Now that you know why having a Will is important, the next question on your mind might be how much do Wills cost? At Watermans, our team offers a fixed price for our Will-writing services. Single Wills are priced at £299 including VAT, and mirrored Wills at £539 including VAT.
This fixed price also includes a charitable donation on your behalf. Watermans have joined forces with Cash for Kids this year. We have pledged that we will donate £50 to the charity for every Will we write between now and the 23rd of December 2022. Cash for Kids is a grant-giving charity who supports disadvantaged young people in local areas across the UK. Watermans, by donating £50 from every Will made until December 23rd, aim to help those children affected by poverty, illness or neglect across Edinburgh, The Lothians and Fife.
At the end of the day, writing a Will gives you comfort in the knowledge that your children and pets will be cared for how you want them to be. It also relieves your loved ones of the stress and responsibility of organising your estate and assets after you are gone.
Your loved ones will already be suffering from the heartache of losing you. By writing your Will now, you can help to make the experience a little less stressful for them.
At Watermans, our team is here to offer straightforward legal advice about succession planning. Book your Will appointment today or call 0131 555 7055.