Wills

A well drafted Will, together with tax and financial planning will give you peace of mind that everything is in order and that your loved ones will be properly provided for in the way you intend.

With a Will, you can decide who should inherit your property and possessions after your death. Preparing a Will with Murdoch Stewarts is a relatively small financial outlay given what can be at stake. Having a Will could save thousands of pounds in tax or in issues arising between beneficiaries. Without a Will, estates are distributed according to Scottish intestacy laws which can be financially and emotionally difficult and detrimental to those you leave behind. It can also mean that your estate is not distributed as you would like or intended.

The traditional view of a family is no longer the ‘norm’ and cohabitation, divorce, remarriage and adoption are common in modern society. These all have the potential to impact on the distribution of an estate and it is important to ensure these are all catered for.

Making a Will is especially important for people with young children because it is the best way to ensure that they are properly looked after. Wills should be reviewed periodically, particularly if your circumstances change significantly, and this is something that we would be happy to discuss with you.

What we can do for you:

  • Murdoch Stewarts Solicitors  are experts in writing Wills.
  • We have a sound knowledge of Scottish intestacy Law.
  • Our advice is tailored to each individual’s needs.
  • We will guide you through the legal formalities to ensure the validity of your Will, avoiding undue complications and providing tax planning as standard.
  • You can be assured that your affairs are dealt with professionally after your death, easing the stress and pressure on your family.

If you wish to make a Will please contact us 0141 226 3333

Power Of Attorney

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that gives authority to one or more individuals to make decisions for another person, and deal with their affairs in the event of their incapacity. This could cover everything from making mortgage payments and other financial decisions to welfare and medical decision, and, decisions about where and how they live.

People of any age can have an unexpected physical or mental illness or an accident that may result in them being temporarily or permanently incapable, or even simply disinclined to deal with their own finances or welfare.

It is therefore never too soon to create a Power of Attorney, even though it may be decades before it is needed, if at all. It is important to remember that you can only grant a Power of Attorney when you have full mental capacity and so you don’t want to leave it until it is too late.

If you do not have a POA and in the future are incapacitated, your next of kin will not have an automatic right to make decisions or take action on your behalf. They will need express authorisation from the Court which can cost several thousand pounds in a very straightforward case and significantly more where there are complications. This is much more expensive than the cost of preparing a Power of Attorney and will cause delays and unnecessary distress for your loved ones.

There are two types of Power of Attorney:

  • Continuing Powers of Attorney – property/financial issues. This can be invoked at any time during your lifetime with your consent or after the loss of mental capacity.
  • Welfare Powers of Attorney – personal affairs / welfare issues. This will only be activated if you lose your capacity.

Appointing someone you trust to have POA will give you peace of mind. You will know that if needed, your affairs will be dealt with as you intend and that your best interests are always met.

One you have made a Power of Attorney, it must be registered with the Office of The Public Guardian, in order that it becomes a legal document.

For more information, please contact us 0141 226 3333

Guardianship Orders

Guardianship Applications and Intervention Orders are required where an individual has lost capacity and there is no Power of Attorney in place. In order to be able to manage the individuals affairs i.e. authorise where the person resides, the care the person should receive and how that care should be delivered a relative needs to apply to the Court for Guardianship.

Why apply for Guardianship? The application may be made because the person is struggling to make decisions or because they cannot safeguard their property or finances. It may be because there is a conflict between the adult and their carers about what care is needed, or where they need to live. Or it may be because carers or relatives want to have a central role in all decisions being made for the person who lacks capacity.

Guardianship applications fall within the scope of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000. Through working closely with carers we can advise you on the types of guardianship available, how long the appointment lasts for, the duties of a guardian and most importantly how to be appointed.

Intervention Orders

Whilst a Guardianship order gives authority to act and make certain decisions on behalf of an individual over the long term, an Intervention order is appropriate where there is a need for a one off decision or action. It may be appropriate to apply for a financial intervention order in order to open, operate or close an account held by the adult, to buy or sell property or for example to sell moveable property held by the adult to obtain an income. In the event that the individual was unable to give medical consent to significant medical or dental treatment, then it may be appropriate to apply for a welfare intervention order.