This week Shona Geddes, Head of Thompsons private client team looks at myths regarding Wills and the reasons why people think they don’t need to make a Will in Scotland.
We often hear people saying "I’m not old enough to need a Will… I’ll get round to making a Will one day…I’m married, I don’t need a Will…"
Which of the following statements are true?
(a) My spouse and I do not need to make Wills as when either of us die, the other will inherit everything.
(b) Because I have been living with my partner for 5 years, he/she will automatically inherit my entire estate when I die.
(c) Because I have been living with my partner for 10 years, we have automatically acquired the rights and responsibilities given to married couples.
(d) If my partner and I were to separate, I would automatically be entitled to half of everything.
(e) I have entered into a civil partnership, therefore I do not need to make a Will as my partner will inherit everything on my death.
None of the above statements are true. The only way to ensure that your estate passes according to your wishes is to make a Will.
By making a Will, cohabitants can properly provide for their partner on death and not leave the decision to the court. Married couples and civil partners should not leave the passing of their estate to be decided by the laws of intestacy. If they do this, they could end up with less than half of their deceased spouse or civil partner’s estate.