A recent survey by the Law Society of Scotland found that as many as 57% of adults in Scotland do not have a legally valid will.
This is a surprisingly high figure, because having an up-to-date a will is one of the most effective ways to ensure that your estate is distributed in accordance with your wishes after your death. It can also be used to leave instructions on how a wide range of your affairs should be managed, from nominating a guardian for any dependent children, to leaving express wishes for your funeral arrangements.
The existence of a will can also make organising your affairs much easier for your loved ones, a fact that is borne out by the Law Society survey, which found that 24% of those with a will made the decision to write one after witnessing the negative impact dying of without a will.
The types of issues that can arise when someone dies without having their wishes clearly expressed in a will were recently demonstrated in a case reported by the BBC.
The case involved the death of a soldier, who died in May 2011 after getting involved in a fight in Germany.
A dispute arose between his mother and his widow over where he should be buried. His wife wanted to bury him in Forfar, but his mother, who was the executor of his estate, wanted him to be buried in the family plot in East Wemyss.
The dispute lasted for over three years, with the soldier’s body remaining in a morgue in London. It was finally resolved when a sheriff at Forfar Sheriff Court ruled that his widow should be able to decide on the site of the burial.
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If you would like advice on writing or updating your will, then contact our wills, trusts, & executry lawyers based in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen Scotland today. Call us today on 0808 149 8451 or complete our online enquiry form and let us help you.