The Prime Minister and his wife, Carrie Symonds, have announced the birth of their second child, bringing the count of Boris’ children to seven. One would hope that an individual in the Prime Minister’s position would have the succession of his estate in order, to ensure that should the worst happen there is a plan agreed on a split of his estate across his family. The composition of the modern family has, of course, changed drastically over the decades meaning that the considerations below now apply to an increasing number of us.
If you have children from a previous marriage and have entered into a new relationship, you should make a Will. A well-drafted Will can ensure that both your new partner is provided for and can continue to reside in the house which you share together, but that the bulk of your estate will ultimately go to your children.
If you die without a Will, unmarried partners have no automatic right to inherit any part of your estate and, instead, would have to raise a speedy and costly court action.
Under Scots Law, spouses and children (but not step-children) have an automatic right to claim a proportion of an individual’s estate – regardless of what your Will says. Therefore, in a situation where there may be an estranged child they will still be able to claim a part of your estate. It is important, therefore, that you speak to an experienced Private Client solicitor when considering the succession of your estate, so you can get advice on this matter.
In our experience, lack of clarity often creates acrimony after death. Ensuring that your affairs are in order and that the succession of your estate is distributed in accordance with your wishes, will help avoid disagreements among family members and ensure that the executry of your estate goes smoothly.