The estate of Colin Weir who passed recently is expected to be the largest estate ever dealt with by Scottish Courts. Mr Weir and his former wife won the £161m Euromillions prize in 2011.
The executry administration for this estate is likely to be a lengthy process and although most are not worth £161m, all Scottish estates are required to go through a similar process. This situation highlights the importance of having your affairs in order to ensure that the executry administration can be as smooth as possible. Some things to consider include:
There is no guarantee that your estate will be distributed according to your wishes without a Will. If you die without a Will (intestate) your estate will be divided according to an inflexible set of rules. Drafting a Will ensures you decide who inherits your estate. It allows you to potentially minimise your inheritance tax liability. Millions of pounds go to HMRC every year, often because people have not made a Will or because they did not know that with good advice and planning they could cut their tax bill or even avoid paying it altogether. If you die intestate, an additional court process is required to appoint an executor. In most intestate estates a compulsory insurance policy known as a Bond of Caution is required. An estate such as Colin Weir's would likely result in a very high premium for a Bond of Caution if no Will was in place.
Organising your paperwork
Discussing personal financial affairs with others can often be overlooked. It will likely make things easier for your executor if you let them know where you keep your important documents, for example:
- Where your Will is kept;
- Title Deeds;
- Bank Statements;
- Pension details;
- Mortgage details;
- Shareholding/Investment paperwork;
- Insurance policies;
- Details of any professional advisors, e.g. accountants, solicitors, stockbrokers.
Given today's reliance on the internet, a lot of the above information will likely be held online. You may wish to consider sharing this information with someone you trust.
Get in touch
Although it might be unpleasant preparing for such an event, it should give you peace of mind knowing that things have been made easier for your family and friends. If you would like assistance with ensuring your affairs are in order please get in touch with our Private Client team who can provide advice tailored to your circumstances and help make the process as straightforward as possible.
Glasgow: 0141 227 9344
Inverness & Highlands: 01463 795 035
Edinburgh: 0131 247 2512
Elgin: 01343 542623