Dying without a Will
Our Private Client team can give you specialist advice on all aspects relating to Wills and Estates.
In Scotland, dying without a Will is known as dying ‘intestate.’ While we would always advise clients to prepare a Will to ensure your wishes are respected when you are no longer here – if a loved one dies without a Will the law will step in to regulate the process.
At The McKinstry Company we understand how difficult it is when a loved one passes away, but we are here to support you. If you have any questions about the succession procedure where there is no Will, or have any other executry query, contact us today on 01292 281711 or complete our online enquiry form to discuss your specific circumstances.
Experienced Wills Solicitors in Ayrshire & Dumfries and Galloway
When someone dies without a Will in Scotland, it will first be necessary for an Executor to be appointed. This is the person who is responsible for the management of the estate – ensuring that the deceased’s assets are properly gathered in and distributed. The Executor is appointed by making an application to the Sheriff Court where there is no Will.
Once the Executor is appointed, the estate can be gathered in and then distributed, once debts are paid. The estate includes all money and possessions, including the deceased’s home.
If there is a Will, this would be referred to, in order to understand how the estate should be shared out. However, if the deceased has died without a will then certain legal rules apply.
Firstly, the surviving spouse or civil partner is entitled to a share in the estate under a system called ‘prior rights.’ Generally, this gives the surviving spouse the right to the house they shared with the deceased (subject to certain conditions), as well as furniture up to a certain value. They will also be entitled to a cash sum, the value of which will vary depending on whether there were surviving children.
The next set of rights to be considered where there is no Will are the ‘legal rights.’ These only apply to moveable property (not houses, for example). The moveable property would include money in bank accounts, shares and possessions like jewellery. If there is a surviving spouse, they are entitled to one third of the moveable estate if there are children and one half if there are no children. Children (collectively) would be entitled to one third of the estate if there is a living spouse and one half if there is not.
Thereafter, the Succession (Scotland) Act 1964 sets out detailed rules on how the rest of the estate is shared.
Get in Touch
At The McKinstry Company, we put our clients at the heart of our work. We understand how difficult it is when a loved one dies and we are here to support you.
Our goal is to generate and maintain strong and lasting client relationships rather than a transactional approach to the work which we undertake. We are a law firm for life and will work with you throughout this difficult time, to ensure that you receive the best possible legal advice.
If you want to learn more about Wills and intestacy, get in touch today. You can contact us on 01292 281711 or via our online contact form. Our friendly and dedicated team are here to help you.
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 ClassMr 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
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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
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Very business-like and helpfulMr 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 CompanyMr H, Ayr
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Local firm, word of mouth good reports.K Rooney, Glasgow
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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
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