We advise all our clients to have Wills and to regularly review and update these as necessary. Even in the simplest Estates, the absence of a Will leads to increased cost and delay, and of course stress and uncertainty, for your family. A well prepared and up to date, Will can ensure that your wishes are carried out promptly and any worry and uncertainty removed from your family and the beneficiaries.
We can advise on all aspects of preparation and updating of your Will, taking account of any special arrangements which would be required for children, elderly or incapacitated relatives or of course bequests to Local or National charitable organizations. We will advise on possible Inheritance Tax implications (in some situations we will recommend specialized accounting advice) and assist with emergency Tax planning where appropriate. We will also store your Will in our Strong-room (without charge) and be happy to review the terms of your Will at regular intervals.
We are very conscious that on bereavement, the primary wish of the family beneficiaries is that an estate is wound up as quickly and efficiently as possible. We pride ourselves on dealing with Estates of various sizes promptly and efficiently and in keeping beneficiaries regularly advised as to progress and of any complications or issues which might have arisen.
Power of Attorney
As people are living longer, we are advising all our clients to consider making Powers of Attorney which would appoint a person of your choice to look after your financial business and take over your welfare in the event of temporary or permanent incapacity, A Power of Attorney can be a critical and vital document, enabling your family to ensure you are looked after without having to involve a lengthy and expensive application to the Sheriff Court which will always be required if the person is unable to give instructions on their own account.
A guardianship order is an appointment by the court once an individual has lost the capacity to make decisions, usually by mental or physical illness. A power of attorney is different from a guardianship order as it is signed before an individual becomes incapable.
A guardian has the legal authority to make decisions over the long term on behalf of an individual in relation to the individual’s financial matters, property, personal welfare or a combination of these.
In most circumstances, a family member or a friend apply to the sheriff court to become welfare and/or financial guardian. Alternatively, someone acting in a professional capacity may make the application e.g. a solicitor or accountant. The applicant is usually an individual unless the local authority has assessed the needs of the individual if there is no one else to do so. In these circumstances, the Local Authority can be appointed. It is possible for more than one individual to apply but the sheriff will usually only appoint relatives of the individual as joint guardians.