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Who succeeds when there is no Will?

Losing a loved one is already a difficult time. When someone dies in Scotland without making a Will, however, significant additional stress can be put on those left behind. The absence of a Will means the estate is known as “Intestate”, which is a much more complicated and uncertain process for family or friends to go through. Not only that, but this can prove to be a very expensive and lengthy process. For advice on dealing with an Intestate Estate, or to begin the process of making your Will, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Freelands Solicitors - contact details for both our Motherwell and Wishaw offices can be found at the bottom of this article, or on our “contact us” page.

What is the first step when there is no Will?

In the event that no Will has been left behind, an Executor will be appointed by the court - this is the first step which must be taken under these circumstances. To find out more about this process, and the duties associated with being an Executor, give one of our specialist solicitors a call.

Who will inherit from an Estate with no Will?

One of the reasons it is so important to ensure you leave behind a Will is to ensure that your money and possessions are left to the people you choose. Without a Will, there is no guarantee that this will happen, and the people closest to you may lose out. This can be an incredibly stressful and emotional situation for those left behind, on top of an already difficult time.

The first rights which will be upheld in this situation are “Prior Rights”. Prior Rights entitle a spouse or a civil partner to inherit above all else, but subject to certain financial limits. These rights rank even above those of any children left behind. As of 2012, a spouse/civil partner will inherit interest in your shared home (up to £473,000), furniture of a value up to £29,000, and, where relevant, a cash sum of £50,000 in the case that you also leave behind children, or £89,000 if you have no children.

What Legal Rights do children have when no Will is left?

After Prior Rights have been taken into account, any children of the deceased can claim their Legal Rights to what is known as the “moveable estate”. This does not include the house or other “heritable” property, but could include possessions such as vehicles, furniture or financial assets such as cash and shares. Children are entitled to one third of the “moveable estate” where the parent has left behind a spouse or civil partner, or one half of this in the event that there is no remaining spouse or civil partner. For more information on Prior or Legal Rights, give Freelands Solicitors a call - contact details for both our Motherwell and Wishaw offices can be found at the bottom of this article, or on our “contact us” page.

What happens to the rest of the estate?

Once Prior and Legal Rights have been taken into consideration, and those assets have been distributed, the remainder of the estate will be divided according to the Succession (Scotland) Act 1964. For expert advice on how this Act would affect you or your family, please get in touch to discuss with our experienced team of solicitors.

Contact our expert Wills, Trusts & Executry Solicitors in Motherwell & Wishaw

At Freelands Solicitors, our specialist solicitors can provide straight-talking, honest and practical advice on dealing with an Intestate Estate. If you require guidance in navigating this often complex process, then please get in touch using our online contact form. Alternatively, please call our Motherwell Office on 01698 442897 or Wishaw Office on 01698 442797

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