News & Legal Updates
Sign up to news & legal updates
It came as no surprise to me that, following the tragic death of singer ‘Prince’ last month, his family are now embroiled in a dispute over the late singer’s $300 million estate.
Unfortunately, the enigmatic music star failed to leave a Will and this is the just the most recent occasion where celebrities – often with multi-million pound estates – have not provided for their succession. Other notable mentions include Amy Winehouse, Bob Marley and Pablo Picasso. More often than not, the lack of a Will leads to uncertainty, delay and potential arguments amongst the surviving relatives.
I would advise that everyone (not just rock stars!) ensures that they have a valid, up to date Will. Even the most basic Will ensures your estate is dealt with in a timely, efficient manner and makes sure your assets go to the people you wish to benefit. Amongst many others, here are 6 reasons, unlike Prince, why you should ensure you put pen to paper sooner rather than later:
- 1. A Will clearly states how you wish your assets to be dealt with so that, within the confines of the Scottish law of succession, you can ensure your closest loved ones benefit without dispute.
- 2. Your Will appoints Executors (the individuals you wish to administer your estate) who have the legal power to ingather and distribute your assets. Without a Will, your family will have to petition the court to be appointed executors and, thereafter, put in place an insurance policy protecting the estate. This process is avoided by appointing Executors via your Will.
- 3. You can ensure vulnerable beneficiaries, such as young children and relatives with disabilities, are protected and provided for on an ongoing basis. This ensures young children do not immediately receive a large inheritance and that disabled beneficiaries have financial protection without directly receiving substantial sums of money, which would ordinarily affect their eligibility for means tested benefits.
- 4. Your Will can ensure your estate is dealt with in a tax efficient manner, limiting any Inheritance Tax liability and increasing the value of the estate passed onto relatives.
- 5. You can provide for specific assets or possessions to be left to individuals who would not ordinarily benefit. This could include leaving money to a local charity which could, coincidently, provide your estate with tax relief.
- 6. Without a Will your estate will be dealt with by the strict laws of Scottish Intestate Succession. This may still result in your closest relatives benefiting, but it promotes delay, disappointment and inflexibility.
The importance and practicality of a Will cannot be overstated and, for a small expense, you can ensure that potential family disputes are avoided. Please get in touch if you wish to put a comprehensive Will in place and your family are adequately provided for after your death.
The above summarises the reasons you should put a Will in place if you live in Scotland and the laws of succession, both testate and intestate, of other jurisdictions will differ.
The opinions expressed in this site are of the author(s) only and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Blackadders LLP.
Blackadders takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the content of this site is accurate and up to date. The site is not, however, intended as a substitute for seeking legal or other professional advice but rather as an informative guide to the services provided by Blackadders and topical legal developments. Site visitors should always seek advice tailored to their specific situation. Consequently, Blackadders accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage suffered by anyone acting or failing to act on the basis of information contained on this site. Downloading of material contained on this site is at the user’s own risk and all necessary virus checks must first be carried out by the user. Blackadders is not responsible for the material found on any web sites linked to this one and links to this site may only be made with Blackadders prior consent.
Blackadders owns the copyright in this blog and all material contained on it. The material on this site may be downloaded for personal use only and must not be altered. Otherwise, Blackadders’ written consent is required before any material on this site is reproduced, copied or transmitted in any way.
Information passed to us via this site is kept confidential and will not be disclosed to third parties except if authorised by you or required by law.
© Blackadders LLP 2011
Members of the Law Society of Scotland. Authorised to conduct Investment Business under the Financial Services & Markets Act 2000 by the Financial Services Authority.
Blackadders Solicitors is a trading name of Blackadders LLP, a limited liability partnership, registered in Scotland No SO301600 whose registered office is 30 & 34 Reform Street, Dundee, DD1 1RJ. Reference to a ‘partner’ is to a member of Blackadders LLP.Back to News & Legal Updates