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Q Looking at the current financial situation, I'm not convinced there's much point having a will at all. After all, I'm not likely to have any money left to leave to anyone, and my husband will get everything anyway. Is there any reason I should reconsider, and if I do, should I use a DIY will kit? GM, Falkirk

A This is a view that many people have, but not having a will means that, if you die, your family will be left with additional problems and costs, and what you wanted to happen with your assets will not necessarily occur.

Looking at the first point, having a will means that you can be certain that your wishes will be carried out and that the people you want to benefit will do so. It will mean your spouse is provided for and as much of your estate preserved for your family as possible.

Turning to the second point, your spouse is not automatically entitled to your whole estate if you die without a will when your assets (your money, your property and all your possessions) will be distributed according to legal rules in a way you might not want, and given to people you might not want to benefit instead of your spouse.

DIY will kits are popular, but they are extremely simple documents which will not deal with your specific circumstances. They are not a substitute for having professional advice and a professionally drafted will in terms of protecting those you want to look after and addressing your individual needs and wishes.

&#149 Glen Gilson is head of private client and financial services at HBJ Gateley Wareing. If you have a question you need answered, write to Jeff Salway, Personal Finance Editor, The Scotsman, 108 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AS or e-mail jsalway@scotsman.com. No responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting, or refraining from acting, as a result of these answers can be accepted by HBJ Gately Wareing or The Scotsman Publications Ltd

 
 
 

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