Edinburgh: 0131 500 0277

Midlothian: 0131 500 0272

Edinburgh: 0131 500 0277

Midlothian: 0131 500 0272

Solicitors and Estate Agents

Make 2019 your year for getting your affairs in order

New Year, new start. It is that time of year when we are all revisiting and starting afresh with our to-do list. From eating healthier food to exercising more to getting your personal affairs and finances in order, now is the time to take action and make a Will. Or if you do already have a Will, does it need updated? Have you also put a POA (Power of Attorney) in place?

Putting your wishes in black and white is not complicated, nor expensive. Making a Will allows you to express your final wishes clearly, and without one you are leaving it up to the law to decide how your estate (your money, possessions and property) is passed on – and this may not be the way you wanted it.

Some areas to consider when making or reviewing your existing Will:

  • Have your circumstances changed recently? Married? Divorced? Kids? Re-married? Make sure your Will is updated when your circumstances do change. If you want a specific family member or friend to take care of your children but that person is not your next of kin, then you need to ensure you designate that person specifically in your will.
  • Children – if you have children under 16 you should decide who looks after them and ensure there are funds to help.
  • Owner of a small business – without an executor, and if you are a sole director, your business could collapse.
  • Non-traditional family? Unmarried couples or not in a civil partnership? In the eyes of the law, a couple who are living together don't have the same automatic rights as a married couple when it comes to sorting out a deceased person's estate.
  • Property – make sure you know what happens to your house when you are no longer here.
  • Inheritance Tax – a Will can also help reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax that may be payable on the value of the property and money you leave behind.
  • Funeral plans – detail what you want so family members don't have to make these decisions in difficult circumstances.
  • If you die before you take your pension pot, make sure you have nominated someone to collect it for you. If not, it may be up to the pension trustees to determine who gets the money.

While death, and long-term illnesses, can be a difficult topic to think about, it is important to consider making your wishes known now in the event that you cannot make them later.

In addition to a Will, it is very important to also have a Power of Attorney (POA) in place. A POA is an important legal document which allows you to grant the people you trust ‘power ‘ to make important decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself in the future – e.g. in the event of an illness or accident that leaves you without capacity to make these decisions at the time. Incapacity can happen to any of us, at any time, unexpectedly through illness or an accident.

Get in touch with McDougall McQueen today to discuss your personal affairs. Don't leave it too late.

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