Validity of Wills—Scotland
Produced in partnership with Jacqueline Leslie
Validity of Wills—Scotland

The following Private Client guidance note Produced in partnership with Jacqueline Leslie provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Validity of Wills—Scotland
  • Wills Act 1963
  • Attested Wills
  • Notarial execution
  • Lack of formality
  • Alternatives to attested Wills
  • Revocation of Wills
  • Types of revocation
  • Revival of Wills
  • Essential validity of Wills
  • more

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19): Some of the formal requirements for a valid Will in Scotland have been relaxed during the coronavirus pandemic. See News Analysis: Signing Wills in Scotland in times of social distancing.

This Practice Note covers the requirements under Scots Law for a Will to be formally valid and the requirements which must be met if effect is to be given to a Will. For general information on Wills under Scots law, see Practice Note: Wills in Scotland—overview.

Wills Act 1963

A Will is formally valid if it is properly executed according to the law of the testator's domicile, habitual residence or nationality either at the date of execution of the Will or at the date of death. It will also be formally valid if it conforms to the law of the place of execution. See Practice Note: Validity of Wills—foreign element.

If a Will deals only with immovable property, it is formally valid if it conforms to the lex situs of the property.

The Scottish rules on signing and witnessing a Will can therefore be followed when the Will is executed in Scotland, where the testator is domiciled, resident or a national of Scotland and when the Will deals solely with heritable property situated in Scotland.

Attested Wills

From 1 August 1995, the testator must subscribe the testamentary writing at

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