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.
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