Wills, Trusts and Executries

Principal contact: Charles T. Cant - charles@charleswoodlaw.co.uk

Wills

Of prime importance to all of our clients (whether they be based in Kirkcaldy, Fife or elsewhere in Scotland) is the need to maximise the value of and protect the assets that they have worked so hard to acquire.

We recommend all of our clients prepare a Will irrespective of their financial position or personal circumstances. Making a Will is the only way of ensuring that your estate is distributed in the way you want (thereby safeguarding the people and causes dearest to you) and it also makes the procedure for dealing with your estate more straightforward.

If you do not have a Will, an intestate application has to be made to the Court for the appointment of an Executor which can lead to increased costs and delays.

Wills can also reduce or eliminate your exposure to Inheritance tax, hold assets in trust pending your children reaching a certain age, provide guardians for your children in the event of your and your spouse’s death.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that the making of a Will takes a lot of time, effort and money. In reality most personal wills can be instructed following short meeting with on eof our lawyers at a relatively modest cost.

Even if you have a Will – is it valid/still up-to-date? We can check legal validity and document any required variations to your existing Will even if you did not instruct us to prepare your original Will.

Executries

When there is a death in the family, it is of course important that the deceased’s estate is administered efficiently and sympathetically.

An Executry deals with administration and winding up of the estates of the deceased. For the surviving family and friends it is often a very difficult time and we will act professionally, sensitively and sympathetically.

We can:

  • apply to the Court for appointment of Executors (in appropriate cases)
  • compile an inventory of all assets held and all debts owed by the deceased at the date of death
  • instructing formal valuations where appropriate
  • notify the deceased’s creditors of the death and to have the amount of debt confirmed again at the date of death
  • apply for confirmation with the Sheriff Court (confirmation is the legal document that gives authority to the Executors to deal with estate and allows them to ingather the assets, settle all liabilities and redistribute the estate according to the terms of the Will)
  • prepare detailed accounts for approval by the Executors
  • arrange for the payment of Inheritance Tax (where applicable)

Trusts

Individuals may control the distribution of their property during their lives or after their deaths through the use of a trust. There are many types of trusts and many purposes for their creation. A trust may be created for the financial benefit of the person creating the trust, a surviving spouse or children, or a charitable purpose. We can provide advise on whether a trust would be suitable for your needs and advise on the choice of trustees etc.

Powers of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a document in which one person appoints another person to act as an agent on his or her behalf, conferring authority on the agent to perform certain acts or functions on behalf of the principal.

Powers of Attorney are routinely granted to allow the agent to take care of a variety of transactions for the principal and can either be limited in their scope (for example to execute a document on your behalf when you will be abroad) or can be a continuing Power of Attorney giving your attorney general authority to deal with your affairs even were you to lose mental capacity.

A welfare power of attorney can allow your family and friends to take health and personal welfare decisions for you.

We will be pleased to act as your attorney if you feel that is appropriate.

Guardianship

A guardian is a person who has been appointed by a Court to take care of a child or incompetent adult personally and/or manage that person’s affairs. We can advise on the making of petitions for guardianship.


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