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Can an Email be used as a Will - for all of Estate

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Dear Forum

My deceased father did not leave a formal will

However, a few years ago he sent an email to my siblings and I, outlining

* Executor
* Split of estate by sibling

My siblings and I agree with the email, it is not contested.

Hence, can we now use the email as basis for splitting the estate - including my fathers flat and small Limited Company (self employed)?

Thanks
SSD

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Comments

  • buddy9
    buddy9 Posts: 510 Forumite
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    In Scotland an email does not have the status of a will.

    Because the estate includes a house, a Grant of Confirmation is necessary. If there is no surviving spouse, you or a sibling (or both, or all) will require to apply to the sheriff court to be appointed executor dative. And unless the estate is under £36K (which seems unlikely) insurance will be necessary (a bond of caution). And some insurers insist on compulsory engagement of a solicitor.
  • kipsterno1
    kipsterno1 Posts: 366 Forumite
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    edited 15 March 2023 at 3:00PM
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    Sorry for your loss.

    Its nice to read a post in which siblings are agreed on a course of action following bereavement. All to often it is the cause of much upset.

    You will have to follow the rules of intestate as there was no will but as long as it is within two years and all are in agreement then a deed of variation can be made to reflect you fathers wishes.

    Edit - sorry I didn't see that it was Scotland, scratch the above.
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 17,230 Forumite
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    An email cannot be witnessed therefore is not a valid will so his estate falls under the laws of intestacy, however if this does not meet what you have agreed to do you can make a deed of variation to line up with his wishes.
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 46,263 Forumite
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    You are sure the email doesn't point to where the will was written and may be stored?
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • bobster2
    bobster2 Posts: 585 Forumite
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    edited 16 March 2023 at 8:29PM
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    Savvy_Sue said:
    You are sure the email doesn't point to where the will was written and may be stored?

    Good point. Maybe a will exists and the email is just a description of what is in the will?

  • StingySD
    StingySD Posts: 29 Forumite
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    buddy9 said:
    In Scotland an email does not have the status of a will.

    Because the estate includes a house, a Grant of Confirmation is necessary. If there is no surviving spouse, you or a sibling (or both, or all) will require to apply to the sheriff court to be appointed executor dative. And unless the estate is under £36K (which seems unlikely) insurance will be necessary (a bond of caution). And some insurers insist on compulsory engagement of a solicitor.
    Thanks for this Buddy9 - much appreciated

    A couple of related Qs, hope you can help...

    1. When you say "some insurers insist" - does this mean some insurers provide BoC without a solicitor? Any examples?

    2. I have spoken to a solicitor who advised that because no Will exists, it is compulsory to now engage a solicitor from initially appointing Executor through the full remainder of the process (until estate is distributed).

    Do you have a feeling for how much this solicitor involvement may cost?

    (Solicitor gave rough cost estimate as a % of the estate - but surely solicitor admin steps dont vary significantly because of estate value. If estate is worth several £250K, surely admin costs will be similar for estates in the same ballpark (£200K, £300K etc...))   

    Thanks again
    SSD 
  • StingySD
    StingySD Posts: 29 Forumite
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    StingySD said:
    buddy9 said:
    In Scotland an email does not have the status of a will.

    Because the estate includes a house, a Grant of Confirmation is necessary. If there is no surviving spouse, you or a sibling (or both, or all) will require to apply to the sheriff court to be appointed executor dative. And unless the estate is under £36K (which seems unlikely) insurance will be necessary (a bond of caution). And some insurers insist on compulsory engagement of a solicitor.
    Thanks for this Buddy9 - much appreciated

    A couple of related Qs, hope you can help...

    1. When you say "some insurers insist" - does this mean some insurers provide BoC without a solicitor? Any examples?

    2. I have spoken to a solicitor who advised that because no Will exists, it is compulsory to now engage a solicitor from initially appointing Executor through the full remainder of the process (until estate is distributed).

    Do you have a feeling for how much this solicitor involvement may cost?

    (Solicitor gave rough cost estimate as a % of the estate - but surely solicitor admin steps dont vary significantly because of estate value. If estate is worth several £250K, surely admin costs will be similar for estates in the same ballpark (£200K, £300K etc...))   

    Thanks again
    SSD 
    * typo: "meant to say several £100K"........oops.... wish it was several £250K !!!
  • MikeJXE
    MikeJXE Posts: 3,149 Forumite
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    Sorry for your loss.

    Its nice to read a post in which siblings are agreed on a course of action following bereavement. All to often it is the cause of much upset.

    You will have to follow the rules of intestate as there was no will but as long as it is within two years and all are in agreement then a deed of variation can be made to reflect you fathers wishes.

    Edit - sorry I didn't see that it was Scotland, scratch the above.
    I agree it is nice to see they agree but I can't see where in the post it says Scotland 
  • buddy9
    buddy9 Posts: 510 Forumite
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    A 'bond of caution' is required as part of the Confirmation process for some intestate estates (as described above). Here is a quote from the SCTS website

    If they did not leave a will, then you may have to get a bond of caution before you apply for confirmation of the estate, further information on this can be received from the sheriff clerk

    So the legal requirement is to have insurance. But it is the insurance companies who insist that a solicitor is used. I am not up to speed with the current situation regarding which insurers are in the Commissary bond of caution market. In the past, it has been as low as only two companies. Whether there are any insurers who do not insist on the use of a solicitor at present, I do not know. 

    (My own view is that the current Commissary bond of caution set up just looks like a corrupt rip off).

    Regarding cost of solicitor probably best to phone around for comparisons.

  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 14,811 Forumite
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    MikeJXE said:
    Sorry for your loss.

    Its nice to read a post in which siblings are agreed on a course of action following bereavement. All to often it is the cause of much upset.

    You will have to follow the rules of intestate as there was no will but as long as it is within two years and all are in agreement then a deed of variation can be made to reflect you fathers wishes.

    Edit - sorry I didn't see that it was Scotland, scratch the above.
    I agree it is nice to see they agree but I can't see where in the post it says Scotland 
    Not in this post, but they have in previous threads.
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