A law firm for life

Girvan has been named as the number one place in Scotland for a day at the beach with Ayr being voted second on the list.

They also both offer fabulous fish and chip shops, homemade ice cream and much more. In both our Ayr and Girvan offices we have acted for clients looking to retire from the city or move up from England to enjoy the way of rural living. Since the pandemic we have seen a marked increase in the number of people south of the border looking to move up to our area.

Whilst during this process this is the first time that many English people become aware that we have a different legal system up here people often don’t realise that the law of succession is also different and who is entitled to inherit your estate is different between Scotland and England.

In Scotland your spouse and children are entitled to inherit a share of your estate regardless of your Will. This means you can’t disinherit your child/children as they are entitled to Legal Rights. Legal rights can be a half share of a third of your moveable estate. (everything other than land and Buildings, such as cash, Savings & Investments). Legal rights can be claimed in Scotland up to 20 years after death. These rights do not exists in England.

Many clients move over the border and class Scotland as their home but may only hold a Will in England. English Wills are only required to be signed on the final page, Scottish Wills are required to be signed at the bottom of each page.

One of the biggest differences is that marriage does not invalidate a previous Will in Scotland. Therefore, it is essential that you make a new Will if you are living in Scotland and have re-married. Other wise your original Will may still be valid and your ex-spouse may inherit everything when you die – even if you divorced many years ago!!

In a recent case, an individual of Scottish domicile died having only ever signed an English Will. The deceased had resided in Scotland but used an English Solicitor to prepare their Will.

Such situations create problems in administering the estate as written evidence would be required from witnesses and the solicitor who prepared the Will to ensure the validity of the will under Scots Law. Tracing witnesses can be time-consuming and costly and add frustration.

If you have moved to Scotland and intend for it to be your permanent home, it is worthwhile putting a Scottish will in place.

The worst case scenario, of course, would be for the court to deem the Will invalid, in which case the Will will be deemed to be intestacy.

Intestacy is where a person has died without a Will or the Will is deemed invalid. This is costly and time consuming along with added stress to the family. You are required to apply for a Bond of Caution which is an insurance policy and you are also required to apply to the local sheriff court to have an executor appointed and your estate may not be distributed how you may have wished.

The purpose of a Will is to communicate your wishes to your family and loved ones and let them know what you would like to happen to your estate after you die. People often think they don’t have much so don’t put the legal document in place. We advise all clients to put a Will in place as it protects you and your loved ones. Putting a Will in place is not expensive and is very straight forward. Much more so than people expect.

If you don’t have a Will or your Will was completed online or with an English solicitor and you are unsure if the document is valid in Scotland please arrange an appointment with one of our private client solicitors in either our Girvan or Ayr offices to discuss further.

If you have a valid Will we advise you should review this on a regular basis. e.g if you have purchased a new property, have a new child or grandchild and you wish to leave a small gift.

Contact our Wills Lawyers at The McKinstry Company

Making a Will can save your relatives a lot of heartache and hassle at an extremely difficult time. Making a Will is the easiest way to ensure your assets are left to who you want and your wishes are respected. It is incredible that an astonishing number of people postpone and put off writing their Will. Visit The McKinstry Company in Girvan or Ayr to discuss with one of our private client solicitors who will be more than happy to advise you on making your Will and giving you the correct legal advice suitable to your requirements. Contact us today.

Join the McKinstry family
Some of our happy clients
  • Really helpful and friendly always replied to calls and emails. Thank you very much for all your help and advice and hard work.

    Mr S, Auchinleck
  • First class throughout 100% better than last time we moved house and used a different firm. Always responded to promptly with appropriate detailed replies. First Class

    Mr N, Ayr
  • Thank you for the support during a difficult time.

    Mrs M, Ayr
  • Every email was timely and actioned quickly. Kirsty and Libby were exceptional to deal with. They kept me informed in a timely manner with the added complication of our sale being carried out whilst we are currently based in America.

    Anon.
  • My emails were always responded to in a timely manner no matter who I was dealing with. Thank you to Nat and Kirsty who helped throughout our move and during some difficult times when lock down was first announced! They have both been great.

    Miss K, Dalry
  • Everything was done extremely professionally.

    Mrs G, Ayr
  • Very happy with the way my case has been dealt with despite working restrictions due covid 19 - thank you. Calls & emails always responded to within reasonable timescale. Very impressed with lawyers and staff I have dealt with during current case and previous divorce case very friendly and efficient.

    Mrs H, Ayr
  • All very prompt, efficient, clear, friendly and personable. Not overwhelming with legal jargon. Many thanks for making the process of setting up a will so straightforward.

    Mrs D, Troon
  • We required our Wills to be amended and that was done without any problems whatsoever.

    Mrs F, Ayr
  • Very business-like and helpful

    Mr M, Ayr
  • I was very impressed with the professionalism shown by all members of staff I had any dealing with. All calls and emails were relevant to the sale of my flat. All questions I had were dealt with at the time. For any further legal matters I will certainly be using The McKinstry Company

    Mr H, Ayr
  • Excellent service most happy with attentiveness and customer service.

    Mr F, Condorrat
  • Nat & Libby efficiently dealt with every question I had.

    Mrs K, Ayr
  • Kirsty understood our weird schedule when we were often 8 hours behind UK time, and simplified things for us by liaising via email. She was extremely approachable and dependable. In Kirsty’s absence, Jodie and Nathaniel would step in and communicate with us, and were very helpful too.

    Mrs N, Ayr
  • Great service and always on hand to answer our questions. Prompt and efficient response.

    Mr H, Ferniegair
  • Questions and communication were answered promptly

    Mr W, Sinclairston
  • Speaking from my own personal experience I was perfectly happy with the service I received. Everything was done to my satisfaction.

    Mrs I, Largs
  • Very efficient, timely and very mannerly on the phone

    Mr McN, Mauchline
  • The service was superb.  Kirsty and team were extremely helpful.

    Mr and Mrs R, Ayr
  • First class service from start till finish. Always there to give help and advice.

    Mr R, Ayr
  • Great service and advice from a good professional company.

    Mr R, Kilmarnock
  • Excellent, very friendly and professional. I will be using you for all my property transactions in the future!

    Mrs S, Godstone
  • My case was handled sensitively and smoothly.

    Mr N, Ayr
  • Everyone concerned in the sale of our property was very efficient and kept us up to date with all happenings.

    D Ferguy, Cookstown
  • Great service.  Would recommend you to others.

    Mr S, Kirkmichael
  • Communication was always available when required. Made me feel confident throughout the process.

    Mr L, Ayr
  • Always replied or phoned back when I needed my questions answered.

    Miss McF, Patna
  • A very prompt and friendly service, a pleasure to deal with.

    Mr R, Aberdeen
  • Robert was very supportive.

    M Carruthers, Kilmarnock.
  • Great, Rebecca was very pleasant to deal with and went out of her way to help with our case

    S Everett, Kilbarchan
  • The solicitor / paralegal I was dealing with was very professional and performed to a high standard. I was very impressed.

    B Ferguson, Methil
  • Local firm, word of mouth good reports.

    K Rooney, Glasgow
  • All queries were dealt with in a prompt and professional manner and I was kept informed of progress as events developed. Thank you very much for making a difficult situation much easier to deal with.

    Mrs McG, Ayr
  • Communication via telephone and email was regular, prompt and comprehensive. All queries and questions were answered with no delays or problems. My experience with the McKinstry Company was pleasant and smooth.

    Mr McK, Ayr
  • My family and I received excellent service from everyone with whom we had contact. The service was of the highest standard and, as I have in the past, I will continue to recommend the company to anyone seeking legal assistance.

    Mrs S, Ayr
  • All emails and calls were dealt with promptly. Very impressed. Very very pleased with service.

    Mr and Mrs H, Hull
  • I enjoy the friendly atmosphere. Very professional.

    Mrs A, Ayr
  • Mr Honeyman was very professional and knowledgeable which made us feel reassured. Very happy with the service and if I needed a solicitor again I would get in touch.

    Mr B, Ardrossan
  • Prompt quick efficient communication.

    Mrs K, Cumnock
  • Ease of making appointments and timescale for completion of business all good.

    Mr & Mrs T, Maybole
  • Gave reassurance and comfort at a stressful time. I felt ten times better after our first meeting and support provided ultimately exceeded my desired outcome.

    Mr N, Saltcoats
  • The supportive way that the advice was provided along with the willingness to fit appointments in with our requirements

    Mr R, Ayr
  • The whole process was handled with upmost professionalism throughout.

    Mr McN, Kilwinning

We’re delighted to welcome you back!

We are open by appointment but these will be restricted to executry and matrimonial clients. Social distancing measures will be in place and please ensure face coverings are worn when entering the office.