MyScottishWillIn 2008, Steven Nicol died in a road accident. He left behind a daughter to his former cohabitee.

He also left behind his mother living in a house he owned.

It was decided, yesterday, by the Scottish Court of Session, that he left no Will. The Will that was produced by his mother, after his death, which left her that house, was, in fact, a forgery.

How very sad for everybody concerned and, particularly, in my view, his daughter.

There is little hope of a future relationship with Granny for her, if there ever was one, before.

She and her mother have been put through 4 years of agonising legal actions.

What is striking about this is that all of this heartache could have been avoided had Steven acted responsibly and made a Will.

That would have made it abundantly clear what he wanted (his “will”). His mother, disappointed as she may have been to be made homeless, would not have been tempted into dishonesty and fraud and his daughter would not have been through such a difficult time, the judge referring, in his judgement, to her anxiety and how it was affecting her school examinations. Despite their separation, his former cohabitee was his daughter’s mother and he might have spared her, as well.

Why did Steven not make a will? We will never know but my research, in 1999, when I launched MyScottishWill was that most people did not make a will because “they never got round to it”. In other words, they knew they ought to but did not act on that knowledge.

If nothing else, the making of a will appoints an executor (the person is going to take charge after your day) and that means that your loved ones will not have to go to court to have someone appointed and obtain the expensive insurance policy demanded, in such situations, by the courts.

Of course, it also means that your children and other loved ones, rather than people that you do not like, will inherit your property.

The Daily Record has run the story.

The the underlying court case, with the full legal details, can be read on the Scottish courts website at McGeever v. Nicol.