The Team

Two important documents everyone should have
Two important documents everyone should have

We believe every client should have a Will and a Power of Attorney. Here’s why. Without a Will, you have no direct say in how your estate should be dealt with. Without a Power of Attorney, if you can’t look after your own affairs, you don’t have any certainty that whoever does look after your affairs will do that in the way you would like.

Why is it important to have a Will?

Having a Will is the only way you can ensure your estate is dealt with in the way you want it to be. If you don’t have a Will, those you leave behind will have to rely on the Law of Succession and that might not be suitable for you or, most importantly, the loved ones you leave behind.

You need to know how the law will deal with your estate after you’ve passed away. Don’t assume everything will be all right.

Everything will depend on your circumstances and your relationships at the time of your death. In these days of “modern” families, the range of relationships amongst couples and their children can be mind boggling!

Let’s take the most basic of relationships - being part of a couple. If you’re married or in a civil partnership, your spouse or partner has a degree of automatic protection. A Spouse or partner is entitled to Prior Rights which gives them certain rights to your property after your death.

However, if you aren’t married or in a civil partnership, your partner has no protection or entitlement and will have to apply to court to make a claim on any part of your estate. This situation can be exacerbated if the person who dies is separated but hasn’t yet been divorced or had their civil partnership dissolved or entered into a separation agreement which would regulate succession matters.

That would mean your spouse or partner in a civil partnership and not the person you’re currently living with, would inherit your estate. If you find yourself in this position, please do something about it now!

At the moment in Scotland, you can’t disinherit your children – whether you have a Will or not. However, if you do not have a relationship with your children, if you want to exclude their Legal Rights to your estate, you will need advice and a Will to mitigate that entitlement.

These are only two of a very large number of reasons to make your Will - and if you already have a Will but your circumstances have changed, then you need to consider reviewing your Will.

Why is it important to have a Power of Attorney?

Most adults deal with their day to day affairs without any great difficulty. In fact, our ability to do this is taken for granted. However, imagine for a minute, that something happens that prevents you from doing that. What happens if you have an accident or contract an illness and, all of a sudden, you are unable to look after your own affairs?

Lots of people think that a Power of Attorney is something “old people” should have. Yes, we agree that that’s a sensible option – but simply “being old” isn’t the real qualification for having a Power of Attorney. "Waiting until you really need it" is like looking for insurance cover when your house is already on fire.

Preparing a Power of Attorney doesn’t change anything whilst you are able to look after your own affairs. You will go about your day to day business and life making all your own financial and welfare decisions. But if something happens that prevents you from doing that, when you have a Power of Attorney, you have someone you trust who is able to step in and make the decisions you would have made for yourself.

If you don’t have a Power of Attorney and find yourself in this position, the ramifications can be huge - and might result in a guardian having to be appointed. This can be expensive and time consuming and there’s no guarantee that the guardian appointed is the person you’d prefer to make those important decisions for you.

We can help you make your Will and Power of Attorney, supply everything you need to know and answer your questions.

These are two of the most important documents you will ever have and we would encourage all our clients, their family and friends to have these prepared.

If you would like further information or wish to make your Will and Power of Attorney, please get in touch.