22 Jan 2021
As a private client lawyer I am often asked whether a certain individual needs a will.
My answer never changes; yes, you do need a will.
There are some reasons that simply apply to everyone:
If you are still not convinced that you need a will there are additional reasons depending on what category you fall into:
The Succession (Scotland) Act 1964 is still in force today. Cohabitation was rare in 1964 so no provision was made for cohabiting couples.
In 2021 it is the most common way to live as a couple, and while the 1964 Act was updated in some respects in 2016 there is still no automatic entitlement for the surviving cohabitant.
The surviving cohabitant needs to apply to the court within 6 months of their partner dying without a will. This is often not a sufficient period of time for the surviving cohabitant who will be grieving and dealing with the practicalities of a death.
You can appoint a person in your will to act as a guardian to your children, should you die before they reach the age of 16. The guardian you choose will take on your parental rights and responsibilities.
If you should die before your children reach the age of 16 they will receive their inheritance on their 16th birthday. Most people consider that to be too young, a will can allow you to decide at what age your children inherit.
If one or both of you have children from previous relationships a will is essential if you want to ensure that your new partner is looked after but that your own children are the ultimate beneficiaries of your estate. Only a will can provide this certainty.
Speak to our experienced team of lawyers who will be happy to discuss your circumstances and put in place the right will for you.