A law firm for life


Expert Wills Solicitors in Ayr, Girvan and Dumfries

Writing a Will is one of the most important decisions you will make. It gives you full control over what happens to your estate and how it is divided up. It also means when the time comes to administer your estate, it is a much quicker and easier process. This can help to minimise the upset for your family, as well as keep costs down.

On the other hand, if you die without a Will, the law dictates who receives your estate and in what proportions. Unfortunately, this may not be how you would have chosen to do it, or had assumed would happen and without a Will, your spouse, partner or children may not automatically inherit. Get in touch with our team today to find out more.

What Is a Will?

A Will is a legal document  which sets out how the estate of a deceased person should be passed to specific beneficiaries according to the details in the document. While many people think of a Will as a single document, it can be made up of several additional parts too, known in Scotland as ‘codicils’. A codicil may be used, for example, where a person wanted to amend or make changes to their Will. A codicil allows you to make changes to an existing Will without re-doing the entire document.

Writing a Will

Writing a Will is important for many reasons, and anyone over the age of 12 may make one. As set out above, a Will is the only way to properly ensure your assets are distributed in line with your wishes after you pass away. A Will allows you to:

  • Specify the people who will inherit from your estate
  • Appoint the people you wish to be in charge of administering your estate, known as the ‘executors’
  • Make ancillary provisions such as for care of dependents or for funeral arrangements
  • Make the most of tax planning to maximise the value of inheritance for your loved ones

Writing a Will is not as straightforward as it seems, even where your estate is modest. Your solicitor will guide you through each part of writing a Will to ensure your wishes are accurately reflected in the document. You can discuss any special gifts or legacies with them. Only an experienced Wills solicitor can ensure that your wishes are communicated in no uncertain terms. This is particularly important when it comes to complex family structures or large or complicated estates.

How Do I Make a Will?

There are certain legal requirements which must be met in order for a Will to be both legally valid, and self-proving.

Firstly, under the Requirements of Writing (Scotland) Act 1995 your will must be made in writing and must be made in accordance with the legal rules that set out the prescribed format for Wills in Scotland. Crucially, the Will must be signed on each page in the presence of a witness.

The formal validity of a Will is vital in avoiding Wills disputes, which is why most people choose to have their Will drafted by a professional Wills solicitor. If you do not instruct a solicitor to assist you with writing your Will, you run the risk of your Will being invalid. Common Wills defects include using a pre-printed Will, not signing the Will on every page and Wills not been correctly witnessed.

Wills Lawyers, Ayrshire

We understand having to talk about these things can be difficult. However, our Private Client team is highly experienced in this area and can talk to you professionally and sensitively about any aspects of writing your Will. With our expertise and knowledge, we can make sure the best arrangements are put in place to benefit your family and loved ones.

When you come to see one of our Wills experts, we will discuss all of your options in plain language. We take the time to fully understand your financial position and your wishes. Our solicitors have assisted hundreds of clients with a broad variety of means, so we have excellent experience in dealing with estates of all sizes. We understand the sensitive nature of discussing your final wishes and will always treat our discussions with sensitivity and professionalism.

We understand that you may have many questions about making a Will, we hope that our FAQs page can provide some insight. If you require more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

See our other related services:

Contact Our Specialist Wills Lawyers, Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway

We want to make planning for the future as straightforward as possible for you. We pride ourselves on being a law firm for life and looking after you and your assets is our number one priority. To discuss your specific circumstances and needs with us, call us today on 01292 281 711 or complete our online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thiona McQuiston Partner View Thiona's Profile

Thiona is Head of our Private Client Department where she is involved in all aspects of property, asset protection, Powers of Attorney, Guardianship, Wills and winding up estates.  

Having joined TMC almost three decades ago in a support role, Thiona went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Law from the University of Strathclyde in 1999.  When embarking upon her Law degree, she was told by the late Professor Sinclair “My dear, you have the University of Life” and that as a bedrock equips Thiona to advise clients on the aspects of their affairs in which she is involved.

Thiona enjoys walking, yoga, travel and spending time with her husband and family, including her dog Molly.

Debbie Dunlop Partner View Debbie's Profile

Based in our Girvan office, Debbie is a Partner who is highly experienced in Private Client work, particularly in the agricultural and farming sectors. She used to enjoy travelling the world, but now married to a farmer, she spends her weekends in wellies, feeding cattle or on the back of a quad bike. Debbie is also a member of the Agricultural Law Association.

Having lived in Rome for a number of years, Debbie also studied Law at the Université d’Auvergne in Clermont-Ferrand – as a result, she is fluent in both Italian and French. She can also speak a bit of Spanish, thanks to travelling around various Central and South American countries, including walking the Inca trail. She has managed to convince her husband that the cattle in Argentina will be worth a look at some time soon!

A keen runner, Debbie has competed in 10Ks and half marathons, even completing the Rome Marathon. This now comes in handy during lambing time chasing after ewes.

Ayr Sandgate

Queen’s Court House
39 Sandgate
Ayr, Ayrshire

  • Disability access
  • Parking close by


146-148 Dalrymple Street
Girvan, Ayrshire
KA26 9BQ

  • Disability access
  • Parking close by
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.

  • 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.