None of us likes to think about it, but death is the one certainty that we all face. Planning ahead can give you the peace of mind that your loved ones will be able to cope financially without you and, at a difficult time, helps to remove the stress that monetary worries can bring.

Planning your finances in advance should help you to ensure that, when you die, everything you own goes precisely where you intend it to go. Making a will is the first step in ensuring that your estate is shared out exactly as you want it to be.

If there is no valid will in place, there are rules for sharing out your estate called the "Law of Intestacy", which could mean your money going to family members who may not need it. Without a will your unmarried partner or partner with whom you are not in a registered civil partnership could receive nothing at all.

If you leave everything to your spouse or registered civil partner, there will be no Inheritance Tax to pay because they are classed as an exempt beneficiary. Or you may decide to use your tax-free allowance to give some of your estate to someone else or to a family trust. Whatever your intentions, we can help ensure that your wishes are formalised. Scottish law on inheritance differs from English law.

A will sets out who is to benefit from your property and possessions (your estate) after your death. There are many good reasons to make a will:

You can decide how your assets are shared – if you don’t have a will, Intestacy Law dictates who gets what.

If you are an unmarried couple (whether or not it’s a same-sex relationship), you can ensure that your partner is provided for.

If you are divorced, you can decide whether to leave anything to your former partner. Scottish Inheritance law differs from English Law, so whatever your circumstances, we can help ensure you don't pay more IHT than necessary.

If you would like to discuss making your will with one of our expert advisers then please call us on 0800 6342 111 or complete the form opposite and we will contact you accordingly.