If you already have a will, it is essential that it is up-to-date and reflects your current life situation and wishes. It is a good idea to regularly review your will and make sure that you update it after any major change in your life such as the breakdown of a relationship, having children or any financial changes. Here are examples of five situations when we would recommend reviewing and updating your will:

1. Birth of new children or grandchildren

Even if you have included your current children or grandchildren in you will, future children and grandchildren are not always automatically included. It is therefore important to review or update your will on the birth of a new child or grandchild if you wish to include them as beneficiaries. If young children are involved, then it is also important to consider what age you would like them to inherit and whether you should include trust provisions in your will.

2. Marriage and civil partnership

In Scotland, marriage and civil partnership does not invalidate a will which means a will created before marriage or civil partnership will continue to be valid and applicable after the event. It is therefore important to update your will to make sure your spouse or civil partner can benefit from your estate in accordance with your wishes. If remarrying or entering a new partnership, you may wish to review or update your will to ensure that your estate is protected for your children on the second death.

3. Divorce

A divorce or dissolution of partnership has an automatic effect on your will, as it is presumed that individuals do not wish for their ex-spouse or civil partner to inherit from their estate. The Succession (Scotland) Act 2016 treats your ex-spouse or civil partner as having predeceased you for the purposes of your will. It is important to note that this does not apply for separated couples. The law of inheritance enables separated spouses or civil partners to still inherit from one another if they have not been removed from the will. This means an updated will which reflects your new circumstances upon separation is important. This does not, however, prevent your spouse or civil partner from making a legal rights claim so we would always recommend having a separation agreement in place.

4. Receiving an inheritance

If you have received a large amount of money through inheritance from family or friends, you may wish to review your will to ensure that it reflects your wishes and passes your estate onto your loved ones in the most tax efficient way.

5. Purchasing a property and moving in with your partner

It is always advisable when purchasing property and moving in with your partner, that you review or update your will. This is especially important in instances where you are unmarried and not in a civil partnership, because a surviving cohabitant is not automatically entitled to the deceased cohabitant’s estate in the absence of explicit provisions in their will.

Overall, having an up-to-date will in place is vital. It offers protection for your loved ones and makes sure that your assets pass according to your wishes.

Appointing a power of attorney or making a will in Scotland is very easy to do using Wills by Brodies. Taking you step by step through the process, Wills by Brodies lets you start to write a Scottish will or appoint your power of attorney online with costs starting at £180.


Simren Kooner

Summer placement student