New Year can be a great time to start estate planning. It can feel like you are getting ahead on organising your affairs, and is an opportunity to reflect on any changes in your life that have taken place over the last year. If your New Year’s resolution is to get your affairs in order, this article is a good place to start. Here we run through some of the key things you need to consider during the estate planning process.
Firstly, if you do not have a Will, you should start by making one. The process of making a Will involves much more than just writing the document. You will need to:
We would also always recommend setting up a Power of Attorney, even if you are in good health - you never know what may happen in the future. A Power of Attorney is like an insurance policy; you hope that you will never need to use it, but it can be an incredibly powerful tool if you need it. Setting up a Power of Attorney is simple, and you should consider the following points:
In Scotland, a solicitor or doctor must certify that you understand the nature and extent of the powers that you are granting and we would be delighted to assist both with preparing the document and completing the signing formalities with you. Once the document has been signed, it must be submitted to the Office of the Public Guardian for registration.
While writing a Will is an excellent start to estate planning, if your assets extend beyond your home and savings, you may benefit from a full review of your personal affairs. An important part of the estate planning process is to maximise the value of the estate available to pass onto the next generation and to mitigate any tax liabilities. Tax planning can be complicated, so working with an experienced professional is important.
Adam Swayne is a solicitor within our Asset Protection Group and specialises in estate planning and Wills.
By putting in place a Will, you ensure that you control who will administer your estate and who will benefit from your estate, guaranteeing that your estate is distributed in line with your wishes and avoiding the risk of disputes, unnecessary stress, and increased administration costs.
If this article has raised any questions or you would like to discuss any issues covered here, then please complete our contact form, or call us on 0131 225 1200 to speak to one of our specialist estate planning lawyers.
Murray Beith Murray was established in 1849 as advisors for generations of clients, committed to our values of integrity, expertise and trust. This aim and these values continue to this day, as does our commitment to be here when you need us.
View our asset protection group here.