Writing a will
People who die without a will, do not have any say in how their estate (home and assets) is distributed following their death. Instead, the rules of intestacy will dictate who inherits what in line with the intestacy rules. The primary beneficiaries under the rules of intestacy are married or civil partners and children. For further information, read Intestacy and Intestacy rules in Scotland.
If someone wants to stop their spouse or children from benefiting from an inheritance, the first step is to clearly state their wishes in a will, by specifying how they want their estate to be distributed following their death. For further information, read Making your will.
Changing a will
If someone already has a will but wants to remove one or more of the named beneficiaries, they must change their will accordingly. This can either be done by making a new will and revoking the old one, or by using a codicil. A codicil is a document that can be used as an addendum to a will where the changes are relatively small and straightforward. It must be signed and witnessed in the same way as a will, and it should be stored with the will. For more information, read Executing a will.