Private Client - Wills and Estates / Powers of Attorney
We believe that everyone should have a Will to ensure that their wishes are carried out. We can provide expert and friendly help in the preparation of a Will taking into account all relevant factors including family circumstances, legal and tax issues. In particular we can give you guidance on the latest Inheritance Tax Rules and Exemptions. A word of warning – if you do not make a Will then your estate will be termed Intestate and this means that the law will decide who will be entitled to receive your estate. Sometimes this may not be very different from your own wishes but in other cases the estate may pass to remote relatives who you would not have wished to receive your estate. The administration of the estate may also be delayed and may be more costly without a Will. uncertainty can be avoided by the sensible option of making a Will.
When someone dies it can be difficult for family members or friends to cope with their loss along with all of the practical matters which have to be dealt with on someone’s death. We have extensive experience in dealing with estates and we are here to provide sympathetic yet practical help and guidance on all matters including registering the death, arranging the funeral, looking after and keeping property secure. We can also provide professional services in dealing with the winding up of the estate from initial investigations of the estate including the assessment of any Inheritance Tax and obtaining Confirmation from the Court which will allow the sale or transfer of the estate and the final distribution of the estate in accordance with the deceased’s Will or under Succession Law. Our aim is to deal with this process in an efficient and understanding manner and to complete the administration of the estate with the minimum fuss and delay.
Continuing and Welfare Powers of Attorney
As we get older all of us may need some form of help in dealing with our financial affairs. A Continuing Power of Attorney appoints one or more persons to look after someone else’s financial and property affairs. The person who has granted the Continuing Power of Attorney can still deal with their affairs themselves but have the option of asking their Attorney to look after and deal with certain matters on their behalf which could include dealing with their Bank, Benefits Agency and Inland Revenue and completing and signing forms on their behalf. The Attorney should consult fully with and keep the person fully informed about all relevant matters and must always act in the person’s best interests. However if, unfortunately, the granter of the Attorney becomes incapable of looking after their own affairs then the Attorney can step in and look after everything on their behalf ensuring that their money is properly administered and all bills are paid.
A Continuing Power of Attorney is a very important document and to be legally effective it has to be prepared appropriately and a professional person, such as a solicitor, must certify that the Power of Attorney has been properly completed and it has then to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. If a person wishes, they can also grant a Welfare Power of Attorney which gives one or more persons the right to make decisions regarding that person’s personal care and medical treatment in the event that the person is unable to make these decisions. A word of warning – it is essential for the Continuing or Welfare Power of Attorney to be made when the granter can fully understand the document and confirm their willingness to grant it and if the person is not able to do this then the only option is to apply to the Court for a Guardianship or other intervention Order to deal with their estate which can be a lengthy, stressful and expensive process and which would have been avoided by the much more straight forward and less costly preparation of a Continuing or Welfare Power of Attorney.
Please contact Andrew Whyte or Raymond McCombie at our Aberdeen Office or Robert Paterson at our Westhill Office if you would like more information or would wish to prepare a Will or Power of Attorney or require any help in dealing with a deceased’s estate.
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