When you are making your Will there are several things to be considered, such as:
- making a list of your assets
- thinking about the way in which you want to divide your estate
- thinking about who to appoint as executor
It is also important to remember that many areas of the law relating to Wills are different in Scotland. Your Solicitor will be able to advise you of the differences.
In this section you'll find information to guide you through the Will making process along with an example list of assets. CVQO would advise anyone making or updating a Will to get in touch with a practicing solicitor to help you do this.
Will making process
Making a Will and keeping it up to date is very important as it puts you in control. Follow the process below to make sure your Will reflects your wishes.
1. List of assets
Before arranging to have a Will written, it is worth drawing up a list of your assets (and your debts) which should give you a clearer idea of what your final estate will look like.
2. Assess your estate
Make a list of all your significant possessions. For example, your house, car, savings and insurance, and other items of value.
3. Decide who you would like to benefit
You can choose to share your estate between anyone you like: your spouse, family or friends. You could also leave a gift to a charity or good cause, such as CVQO, after your family and friends have all been properly provided for.
4. Decide what sorts of gift to leave
You can leave any kind of gift: a share of your estate (residuary), an amount of money (pecuniary) or specific items. Your solicitor will also be able to advise you on the benefits of different types of legacy.
5. Choose your executors
You should now select between one and four people who will be able and willing to ensure the wishes within your Will are carried out. You can choose your bank, your solicitor, or willing friends or relatives.
6. Make a list of questions
You may want to ask your solicitor some questions, it will save you money if you do it before your visit.
7. Arrange to see your solicitor to make your Will
This shouldn't take long but it's important to involve a legal professional to draw it up for you. If all the legal formalities are not correctly followed, your Will could be declared invalid.
8. Ensure that your Will is correctly drawn up
When you are happy with the contents of your Will, make sure that it is executed and witnessed properly. Your solicitor can advise you on this.
9. Keep your Will up to date
You can update your Will at any time to reflect changes in your circumstances such as the sale of your house, or the death of friends or loved ones. Your solicitor can advise you on the best way to change your Will either by re-writing it or by adding a *codicil.
CVQO would advise that anyone making or updating a Will should seek independent advice from a practicing solicitor or bank trust company.