Dorothy Kellas, partner, private clients, Gilson Gray solicitors, told Midlothian and East Lothian Chamber that there can be huge consequences if businessmen and women don’t make a will.

She stressed that failure to put your wishes down on paper can cost a sum which could be more than the cost of making a will.

Ms Kellas (pictured) told the audience at The Bonnie Badger in Gullane: “There is a legal framework for what happens when people don’t have a will but how your estate is distributed using that is not necessarily what you would expect.

“Particularly in cases such as co-habitation or where there are step families it may not be what you want to happen.”

Ms Kellas told the audience that if people are unsure of the consequences after death then it is pertinent to find out.

She added: “It is fine if you think the legal framework is going to adequately protect you and your family but please find out what it means for you in your particular circumstances.”

Ms Kellas also reminded the audience that if you have come over the border from England then the law is different.

She said: “If you die in Scotland without a will then it will be Scots Law that is used. There are additional steps that need to be attended to if you don’t make a will which involves additional court processes so the cost of all these extra steps is usually far more than the cost of making a will in the first place.”

Finally, Ms Kellas added that the simple message is to get your affairs in order now.