The following information applies to Scottish Law.
Why make a will?
- Possessions You decide who will inherit your possessions and property
- Inheritance Tax You may be able to pay less inheritance tax if you make a will.
- Legal Guardians You decide who will be legal guardians for your children if they are under the age of being able to look after themselves
- Trust Funds You can decide to set up a trust fund for your children if they are under age to be made available at an age of your choice.
- Charities You can choose to make charity donations- which are free of inheritance tax
- Treatments You can specify your preferred intentions for treatment or withdrawal of treatment in an Advanced Directive or Living Will, which must be signed whilst you are mentally competent. It is a document setting out the circumstances under which you would not want to receive life-prolonging medical treatment if you became seriously ill in the future and were incapable of making your own health care decisions. However in Scottish Law Advance Directives are not legally enforceable under the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000, but one of the general principles of the Act states that the wishes of the adult should be taken into consideration when acting or making a decision on their behalf.
- Power of Attorney You can specify Welfare Power of Attorney or Financial Power of Attorney or both.You can appoint up to four Attorneys. If you wish to give the Attorneys a general power to make decisions with regard to your welfare, such as deciding on care arrangements or consenting to medical treatment or use of your finances if you reach a time when you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself. It must incorporate a certificate signed by a Prescribed Person (a solicitor, a practising member of the Faculty of Advocates or a medical practitioner). It must also contain a statement that the Granter has considered how they would wish their incapacity to be determined.
- Amendments You can still make small changes to a will by using a document called a Codicil