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The advice in this guide about the preparation for writing a will, and the lists of information that your will writer will need from you, is the same for Scotland as it is for England and Wales.
This also applies to the Inheritance Tax (IHT) system, where the IHT threshold (£325,000 from April 2009) and many other factors such as exemptions and the ‘seven-year rule’ relating to gifts and legacies are the same.
Some areas of the law and legal procedures are different in Scotland:
In Scottish law you cannot totally disinherit your spouse or descendants in a will. If you have children they will be entitled to a third of your movable estate – that is, everything except land and buildings – and your spouse will be entitled to another third. You can give the remainder to whoever you wish.
If you have no children your spouse will receive half of your movable estate. However, if your spouse or civil partner has died, your children will be entitled to half of your movable estate.
The spouse must decide if they wish to take their ‘legal rights’ in the proportions described above, or to take what they have been left in the will. They cannot take both. This does not apply to property that passes outside the estate, such as payments you may be entitled to from a pension fund, or an insurance company bond.
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