Will & Inheritance Tax Planning

Making a Will

Making a will is one of the most important things we can do - after all it determines how our most personal possessions and hard-earned savings will be shared among close family and friends.

It is often a simple and inexpensive process. But failure to make a will can pose major difficulties for those left behind, for instance, by paying more tax than necessary. Your estate - money, other assets and possessions - could be distributed according to the law rather than your wishes. It is particularly important to leave instructions if you own property.

The contents of a will

It is advisable to consult a solicitor before deciding what to put in your will. A will can cover a range of issues, including:
  • who should inherit your property, money, other assets and possessions
  • how your children should be cared for
  • who should be responsible for looking after your estate (the executors)
  • special arrangements for your funeral
  • and charitable donations you would like to make

How a solicitor can help

Wills are often straightforward but some involve complicated arrangements and financial affairs, such as inheritance tax - all the more reason to ensure they are drawn up by a qualified solicitor. Even if your will is simple and you want to write it yourself, it is advisable to consult a solicitor to avoid pitfalls and ensure all the legal formalities have been followed correctly, otherwise it may be invalid. DIY and internet wills are available but there are obvious risks where no personal advice is given.

Making a will is the best way to ensure that your personal possessions, assets and savings are shared out according to your wishes after you die. It can also set out how you would like your children to be cared for.

And while no one wants to spend too much time thinking about death, it’s important to give proper consideration to the future and to how to go about making your will.

Recent research has shown that the majority of people use a solicitor to draw up their will.

Regulation and insurance

All Scottish solicitors must meet the high professional standards which are set and upheld by the Law Society of Scotland. These standards govern their conduct as solicitors as well as the service they provide to their clients. On top of this, solicitors working in private practice are covered by insurance and must pay into a fund which covers members of the public for monetary loss in the event of solicitor dishonesty. If a solicitor makes your will, you and your loved ones are protected in the unlikely event that something goes wrong.

Years of experience/training

Becoming a solicitor means many years of hard studying and training. And even after they qualify, they must regularly complete training to keep their knowledge up to date. All this means that when you come to a solicitor about writing your will, you’ll be dealing with an expert who knows the law inside out. For something as important as your will, that peace of mind means a lot.

Knowledge of other relevant areas

Being able to write a will is one thing, but what about the inheritance tax implications that may go with it, or the legalities of appointing executors and protecting your online assets? Solicitors are experts in many different areas and can ensure that your will is comprehensive and complies with all relevant laws.

Helping with arrangements

Your solicitor can help your family or executors contact undertakers and arrange for the death certificate to be issued by the General Register Office for Scotland.

Acting as an executor

Executors are responsible for dealing with assets of the estate. Solicitors are often named as executors when a will is drawn up. Others, such as family members, can also act as executors.

Going to court

If there is no will, it may be necessary to apply to the sheriff court to appoint an executor. A solicitor will have to prepare the forms for the court to appoint the executor.

Changing a will

Changes can easily be made to wills - a solicitor will ensure they are legally binding.

Keeping a will safe

It is important to keep your will safe. If your solicitor has drawn up the will, he or she will usually keep the original and send you a copy.

Contact Mailers

whatever your problem, we are here to help


While this website attempts to cover the areas of law most commonly encountered by our clients, we are always happy to discuss other issues and provide advice or referrals where necessary. Contact us by telephone or e-mail to arrange an appointment for prompt attention on any matter.

Whatever your problem we are here to help.

Office Locations

Mailers, Stirling
Jubilee House, Forthside Way, Stirling FK8 1QZ

Mailers, Alloa
70 Drysdale Street, Alloa FK10 1JA

Mailers, Bridge of Allan
88 Henderson Street, Bridge of Allan, FK9 4HA

Office hours

Mon-Fri: 9.00 - 5.00pm

Sat-Sun: Closed
appointments outwith office hours or at your home or office may be available by arrangement.