Whether you already have a Will and need to update it following the birth of a child, or need a Will because you haven't yet made one and have just become a parent, having a Will is very important to safeguard your child's future should the worst happen. In your Will, you may decide to appoint guardians in the event of your death, leave Trust funds, and appoint people who will look after finances while your child is young. 

In Scotland, your child has legal rights, and you cannot disinherit them. It is very important to have a Will in place to have the peace of mind that your child has what they need for their future. At Thompson Family Law, we can help you draft a Will that gives you the reassurance you need. 

The importance of having a Will as a parent

If you die in Scotland without a Will, you will have no say over who inherits your estate, assets and possessions. This is why it is important to have a Will if you become a parent, otherwise, the rules of intestacy will dictate what others receive when you pass away. It is worth noting that these laws are quite outdated when applied to many modern families and their living situations, and they fail to recognise stepchildren or couples who are cohabiting but are not married. 

Protecting your children’s future

If you want to have control over what happens to your estate when you die, you need a Will to ensure that your property, money and cherished possessions are passed down to people that you have chosen. You can allocate whatever you like (from your estate) to loved ones and friends when you pass away, such as leaving property, cars, money, or a part of your overall estate. This is very important if you become a parent, as you'll want to make sure that your children are protected and financially covered for their future. If your children are under 16, you can also appoint guardians who can look after them if you die.  

How often should I review my Will?

You should review your will after any significant life change, which might include:

You can change your Will by making either a codicil (a supplement to a Will that makes some alterations but leaves the rest of it intact) or making a new Will.

What should my Will include?

A Will must have executors who can execute the wishes stated within it. Most Wills typically have an executor and a reserve executor, who acts as a back-up if the first executor dies before you do, or if they decline to be an executor. A Will should cover whether you'd like to be buried or cremated upon your passing, whether you'd like to participate in organ donation, and state any guardians for your children should they be under the age of 16.

Appointing a guardian

A guardian would look after the child and make decisions for them on every aspect of their lives, including education, living circumstances, care and wellbeing. If you do not appoint a guardian, the court will do so on your behalf, and this may not be a person who you would have chosen of your own accord. By appointing a guardian, you are planning for your child's future and have peace of mind that they will be cared for by a person that you trust. 

What happens if I die without a Will?

If you pass away without a Will, it is a lengthy and complex process to organise the estate of a person who died intestate. An executor is appointed, and they will distribute the estate according to the hierarchy stated in the Succession (Scotland) Act, where spouses, parents and siblings could have an entitlement to a share of your estate. Not having a Will can cause a lot of uncertainty and stress for surviving family members, as your estate may not go to those you'd intentionally leave it to. 

Contact our Wills Solicitors Glasgow, Coatbridge, Airdrie, Shetland

If you are a parent and you want to make sure that your children are protected financially for the future, we can help you draft a Will that states your exact wishes should you pass away. Our team of Wills lawyers have years of experience in drafting effective documents that will take care of your family when you are unable to. Contact us on 0141 404 6575, or get in touch through our online form.