Can I disinherit my children in Scotland?

The answer to that is “almost”.

If you make no will then your children will inherit something subject to my comments in an earlier blog. When I talk about children, I am talking about any children that you may have had by any relationship and any adopted children.

The question often arises if there is a black sheep or where someone is on their second time around and wants to leave everything to their new wife or cohabitee. I do detect, sometimes, an element of frustration when I tell them that Scottish law allows every child a claim.

If there is no will, there are quite complicated arrangements set down but, the children are very likely to get a substantial portion of your estate.

If, however, you make a will then you will be able to restrict the claim and, in particular, your house or any part of it cannot be claimed by the children. Since this is, generally, the major part of most people’s estate, then you have made great inroads into the financial “pot” that the children can claim upon

Furthermore, if you leave a wife or civil partner then you further restrict the claim that can be made and, so, if you want to disinherit your children, get married!

I do point out that the law allows the claim but does not insist that the claim is made and , so, adult children can decide to respect of their parent’s wishes. Indeed, most of the time that is how it is because, generally speaking, if you are still married to the other parent when you die, the children will generally accept that situation.

So, if you wish to disinherit your children: –

1. Make a will;

2. Invest all your money in heritable property; and

3. Get married!

Bruce de Wert

Bruce de Wert

Director

You can make an inexpensive but completely valid Scottish Will at my website: — www.MyScottishWill.co.uk

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