Our dedicated Private Client team undertake a variety of work including drafting Wills, Powers of Attorney, guardianships and other legal documents; administering executry estates; and setting up companies or trusts in the UK.
Making a Will is one of the most important things you can do – it determines how your most personal possessions and hard-earned savings will be shared among your family and friends. It is a simple and inexpensive process.
But failure to make a Will can pose major difficulties for those left behind, for instance, by paying more tax than necessary. Your estate – money, other assets and possessions – could be distributed according to Scottish law rather than your wishes. It is particularly important to make a Will if you own property.
Your Will can cover a range of areas, including but not limited to: who should inherit your property, money, other assets and possessions; how your children should be cared for, and by whom; who should be responsible for looking after your estate (the Executors); your funeral arrangements and any charitable donations you would like to make.
Wills are often straightforward but some involve complicated arrangements and financial affairs, such as inheritance tax – all the more reason to ensure they are drawn up by one of our qualified solicitors. DIY and internet Wills are available but there are obvious risks where no legal advice is given. Changes can easily be made to existing Wills – our Private Client team will ensure they are legally binding.
Your Executors are responsible for dealing with assets of your estate. Solicitors are often named as Executors when a will is drawn up, and our solicitors are experienced at acting as Executors and administering estates. Family members can also act as executors.
If a loved one has passed away and there is no Will, it may be necessary to apply to the Sheriff Court to appoint an Executor. A solicitor is required to prepare the forms for the court to appoint the Executor, and our family law team are on hand to offer you advice.
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POWERS OF ATTORNEY
A Power of Attorney is a legal document which authorises one or more people to deal with your welfare, personal and financial affairs on your behalf and can make life easier should you become unable to look after such affairs yourself.
We recommend to many of our elderly clients that they should have such a document in place for possible future use. Age is no barrier to putting a Power of Attorney in place, however, and it is never too soon to consider it.
The appointment of an Attorney does not mean that you give up the authority to deal with your own affairs, but rather ensures that there is somebody else who is authorised to deal with financial or welfare matters on your behalf should the need arise, perhaps as a result of an accident, illness or absence out of the country. Powers of Attorney can be widely drawn to cover all aspects of your business or be restricted to a specific purpose alone, such as a sale of a property.
With a depth of experience in working with families and individuals in putting in place Powers of Attorney our solicitors will advise you of the options, establishing a bespoke arrangement which will best serve your particular needs and ensure completion of proper documentation, and registration of the document with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Quote for Powers of Attorney
We currently offer a single Power of Attorney document for a fixed fee of £200+ VAT + outlays, and a pair of mirror Powers of Attorney for £250 + VAT + outlays.
A guardianship order allows someone to make ongoing decisions on behalf of an adult who is incapable of protecting, safeguarding and making decisions about their own financial or personal welfare.
The order is granted by a sheriff and is usually in place for a set period of time e.g. 3 years. An adult is someone who is aged over 16 years. However, if necessary, a guardianship application can be made 3 months before a child reaches the age of 16, so that the order is in place on the child’s 16th birthday.
A guardianship order can be granted to handle property and financial matters, personal welfare, or a combination of these. We can provide legal advice if you are considering applying to the sheriff court for an order.
The death of a loved one is a difficult and stressful time. Hann & Co can assist you in handling the administration of the estate on your behalf and to guide you through the various steps.