Get in touch to discuss making or updating your Will
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Wills & estate planning - protect your loved ones
Making a Will is one of the most important things you can do to protect your loved ones and your assets. Our Wills team is based in Glasgow, Edinburgh & Inverness but can cover the whole of Scotland & the UK.
Wills not only ensure that your money, property and possessions go to those you wish to benefit, but also allows you to appoint Guardians to look after your young children, leave legacies to charities and make funeral arrangements. Having an up-to-date Will gives your family the security of knowing they have been provided for and gives you peace of mind because you know everything is in order.
We would recommend always having an up-to-date Will but there are particular milestones when we would recommend reviewing or updating your Will such as:
- Buying your first home
- Moving in with someone
- Getting married
- Having children
- Starting or selling your own business
- Changing jobs
- Separation or divorce
- Illness in the family
- Inheriting from a family member or a friend
Your wishes may also change, along with the value of assets you possess throughout your life, so having an up-to-date Will is essential. If you have an existing Will we can review and, where necessary, update it for you.
Frequently asked questions about Wills
A Will is a written document stating what you would like to happen to your estate (this includes property, cash and personal possessions) when you die. You choose the person you want to administer your estate, called an executor and the person or people you want to leave your belongings to, called your beneficiaries. Your Will may also provide information on your domicile, who you want to look after your children and your funeral instructions.
A Will lets you plan who receives what and when. It is a very flexible document and can be tailored to ensure that your final wishes are met. It also allows someone with a large estate to engage in Inheritance Tax planning.
If you die without making a Will, your estate will be distributed in accordance with the rules of intestacy. Under these circumstances, an additional Court process to appoint your executor is required. It is also likely that your estate would have to pay for a compulsory insurance policy known as a Bond of Caution. The current rules of intestacy have remained largely unchanged for 50 years, and have not therefore kept pace with changing family structures. The lack of a Will can cause unnecessary uncertainty, distress and expense for those who are left behind.
Making a Will should not be a lengthy process. One of the biggest myths of all is that making a Will takes a lot of time, energy and money. In reality, all it takes is an hour or two of your time and normally it is a fairly straightforward process.
Whilst it is important to make a Will, it is equally important to regularly review your Will. Changing personal circumstances over time such as divorce, marriage, remarriage and having children are likely to mean that any existing Will you have needs to be updated. By regularly reviewing the terms of your Will, you will be reassured that your estate goes to the person or people that you want to receive it.
Once signed, your Will must be kept in a safe place. At Harper Macleod LLP, clients typically opt to have the original Will stored in our fireproof safe and have a copy sent to them for their records. If you would like to hold the original, however, it is your right to do so.
Our experienced solicitors will be happy to discuss all of the available options to help you make suitable arrangements whilst maintaining your wishes for the future. The key to successful estate planning is not only to start early but to re-visit the plan at regular intervals so as to ensure that your wishes are continually met, no matter what life may throw at you. If further advice on this matter is required, please contact us on 01463 795019.
Making a Will – the process
The process of making or updating a Will is simple:
- We recommend having a conversation with a member of our team - that way we can ensure that we create a Will that meets your individual needs.
- Once you are happy that the draft reflects your wishes, we can arrange the signing. You need to sign the Will in front a witness (which we can provide) and then we can look after the original Will for safekeeping, free of charge.
- Making a Will is usually inexpensive, can take as little as an hour of your time, and avoid a lot of unnecessary distress and expense at a later time.
If you don't make a Will you risk leaving your possessions to the mercy of outdated rules and court processes which take no account of your wishes.
The lack of a Will, or a poorly drafted Will, could have significant implications for inheritance tax problems, which could be easily avoided.
The Brief magazine - guide to personal legal services
The Brief magazine is your guide to personal legal services at Harper Macleod. The magazine aims to keep you in touch with current legal issues that are important to you - the law seldom stays the same for long and we believe that it's important for everyone to be kept advised on the changes that can affect both you and your families.
You can view and download the current edition by clicking here.
We hope you find the magazine useful and informative, and please don't hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team should you have any issues you'd like to discuss further with us.
Our Wills & Estate planning team
Our offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Lerwick and Thurso ensure that our experienced and approachable team is on hand to discuss your wishes in a sensitive and efficient manner.
When writing a Will we can advise on the protection of your assets from inheritance tax. If you run your own business, have assets abroad, or have remarried we can ensure that your assets are protected from external threats for future generations.
Our team can also help you with other aspects of estate planning, family law, trusts, powers of attorney and more.
As well as the lawyers listed below we have a team of paralegal and support staff who will also help with your request.
We have teams across Scotland, to speak to a local private client solicitor please call the local number or click on the names below to find out more about their experience. We'll make sure you speak to the correct person depending on your request.
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