When you need a Power of Attorney or Will urgently

It is human nature to put off making a will.

Perhaps it’s because making one is finally admitting we are mortal and one day will die. However, it has been proven that putting off this decision doesn’t make any difference to your life expectancy.

Making a will earlier, in a planned manner and without any family pressures means you can prepare better for the future. Once you have made a will, amending it as you grow older is much less daunting.

The process is easy.

You need to sit down and plan how you want to distribute everything you own (or may own) when you die. If you prepare a will then your estate will, to a large extent, be distributed in the way you want and not in the way that might happen without a will. (For more about what happens if there is not a will in place, see the Prior Rights page on this website).

Sometimes it is necessary to make a will urgently.

This may be because of some sudden change in your personal circumstances. If it is urgent, your solicitor will attend at a hospital or your home to take instructions and will return to see you to make sure your will is properly signed.

When dealing with elderly clients, solicitors will also make home visits to prepare a will or a power of attorney.

EC regulations and Law Society rules require solicitors to give clients not only Terms and Conditions (also known as a letter of engagement) but, in the case of a home or hospital visit, a “cooling off period” notice – not too dissimilar from those given by double-glazing salesmen. There the similarities end (!).

As solicitors, we are often asked by a relative of an elderly person to visit them at home or in hospital.

Often, this is to take instructions for a will or power of attorney (POA).

The client is always the person making the will or POA and we have to make sure the client knows what they want to do and that they are fully aware of terms of the document that are going to sign.

In the case of POA, a solicitor or doctor must, in addition, provide a certificate with the registration form, confirming that the client was interviewed before and after signing and knew what they were signing.

Occasionally, as a solicitor we will decline to sign a certificate.

This can be upsetting for the person’s family.

However, if we are not confident that the client knows what they are about to sign – or if we have any concerns – then we will refuse to proceed.

We are entitled to ask medical staff for a second opinion and sign the certificate saying that we have relied on a doctor.

At Grigor & Young a situation has occurred twice in the last 12 months where we have refused to sign a certificate. It is a role that we, as solicitors, must and do take seriously.

It is crucial to think about making a will or Power of Attorney when it’s only important.

In other words, get it done before making a will or POA becomes not only important but  urgent as well.

Remember: it’s never too early to consult your solicitor but it can be too late.

How we can help

If you have any questions about any matters raised in this article, please contact us. All initial enquiries are at no charge and without obligation. We are keen to have as much helpful content on our website as possible. Questions allow us to consider how we can clarify and improve the information provided on this website.

You can get in touch with a member of our Private Client team by calling 01343 544077. Alternatively, send us a Free Online Enquiry.

Moray and Elgin History Podcasted

What did Robert Burns think of Elgin?

And did Bonnie Prince Charlie spend several nights in the town because he took a liking to the place?

Answers to these questions and others came up when Moray culture and history featured in the History Scotland: Hidden Histories podcast for 14 January 2018.

One of the aims of the podcast is to explore visitor attractions which could be described as a bit off the beaten track.

Well-known local figure, Jim Royan, gives a general introduction to Moray.

He then took presenter, Neil McLennan, on a tour of the centre of Elgin, focusing particularly on the Castle-Cathedral-Cashmere trail. The final part of the hour-long programme featured Moray’s own Fire Festival, the Burning of the Clavie, held in Burghead.

This article looks at the general Moray part and the section of the podcast which involved a wander through Elgin. We’ll look at the Burning of the Clavie in a separate article.

Moray is a triangular-shaped county.

According to Jim Royan, Moray is unique and yet not well known.

Moray is like Scotland in miniature. The coast of Moray is about 50 miles from the top of Ben Macdhui, which is the second-highest mountain in Scotland. [Read more…]

When is the Best Time to Contact a Solicitor for Help?

Donald Trump’s tweet of the year for 2018 may date from as early as 02 January 2018, according to some commentators.

“Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation,” the president explained. “Good news—it was just reported that there were Zero deaths in 2017, the best and safest year on record!”

As U.S. late night TV host, Jimmy Kimmel, pointed out, while the president’s comments were true, it was also the case that several previous years had had no commercial aviation fatalities too. In fact, the last recorded death was in 2009. [Read more…]

8 ways to self-educate about personal injury compensation claims in Moray (and avoid getting ripped off)

One copywriting formula for drafting a magnetic headline for an article employs the Four U approach. The headline should be:

  1. Useful
  2. Ultra-specific
  3. Unique
  4. Urgent

We like Demian Farnworth’s explanation of this system, building an example headline with all 4 elements.

“How to wash dishes”.

Technically, that’s a “useful” headline but it’s too generic to move readers enough to read the article that follows.

So, you make the headline not just useful but also “unique”: [Read more…]

What is Personal Injury Compensation? (An explanation by APIL)

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has launched a guide to personal injury compensation in the form of a colourful 24-page eBooklet – entitled “Compensation Explained”.

It is intended to explain the purpose and method of calculation of compensation, as well as its value to society.

It’s easy to overlook the harsh realities for someone who needs help after an injury.

After all, none of us plans to be injured and, fortunately, few of us will end up in that situation.

However, as we all like to think that we live in a modern, caring society, APIL argues that it is reasonable to expect that someone who is injured as the result of another’s failure to take proper care:

  • should not have to suffer any further, and
  • should not lose out financially as a consequence of their injuries.

[Read more…]

Job Opportunities with Grigor & Young

Solicitor Vacancies

Grigor & Young are a well-known, established High Street firm. We are currently recruiting solicitors for our Elgin and Forres offices. Applications are invited from Solicitors with experience in conveyancing/ commercial and private client areas. You should be a strong team player with the ability to manage a large workload on your own initiative. You will be expected to build up good client relationships and be active in the community. You will be required to live in the area. Regular training will be provided.

Moray is an area of outstanding beauty and provides an ideal opportunity to have a good work/life balance.

Applications in writing to Ann Cruickshank.



Grigor & Young
1 North St


Audio Typists / Secretaries

2 Audio typists/secretaries required by us – a busy law firm. One will be based in our Forres office and the other in our Elgin office. Previous experience would be an advantage but an essential requirement is to have the ECDL qualification or have experience with both Word and Excel.

34 hours per week.

Applications in writing to ann@grigor-young.co.uk

Grigor & Young
1 North St

How Your Will Can Help Moray Foodbank in November 2017

As in previous years, Grigor & Young will be running a promotion in November 2017 designed to encourage you to make a Will and help charity at the same time.

Would you be willing to support Moray Foodbank this November?

We reported previously how Moray Foodbank is our current nominated charity.

Aiming to reduce the effects of food poverty in the Moray area, in 2016, the Foodbank’s work helped well over 2,000 people.

Virtually all of the food given out by Moray Foodbank is donated by the public. Each person who gets assistance from the scheme receives a minimum of 3 days’ food.

For November 2017, Grigor & Young will be donating £100 from each fee for preparation of a Will to Moray Foodbank.

This is your opportunity to help others and, at the same time, help yourself by getting your affairs in order. [Read more…]

Choosing the Best Feeing Arrangement for your Personal Injury Claim

What are the financial aspects of instructing a solicitor in relation to a personal injury claim?

When it comes down to it, personal injury claims are about money. That may not be the most important thing to you but it is the way the law looks at these claims.

Accordingly, your solicitor’s main aim is to maximise the amount of financial compensation you will receive.

In practice, there are two aspects to the amount of compensation you receive.

[Read more…]

Help for Separated Couples with Children (and it’s free)

The process of family breakdown – and having to adjust to living in separate homes – is difficult for adults and children alike.

A free information session for separated parents is soon to be offered in Moray (in Elgin) for the first time, through AVENUE.

The one-off Parenting Apart Groups will help separated parents to:

  • understand what they and their children are going through
  • help their children cope better
  • work together as parents
  • plan for the future

How does it work?

You sign up for a one-off 3-hour session, which you attend together with other parents who are in similar circumstances (group sizes may vary but will probably be of about 4-6 people). [Read more…]

Why Your Solicitor Gets A Contaminated Land Report when Buying a House

Every year in the UK, we dump about 50 million tonnes of waste in the ground. This would be enough to fill a football stadium like Hampden Park to the brim – 50 times over!

A landfill site at Dunbar in East Lothian takes much of Edinburgh’s rubbish and it has won awards for its high standards. Regulations require the use of barrier layers – such as plastic, clay and soil – to ensure safe storage of the waste. The risk of leaks of toxic fluids and gases has to be managed for generations to come.

The manager at Dunbar is a local man. He has a vested interest in maintaining standards for the benefit of his community. The staff maintain clear records of what has been buried and where. It’s information which will be essential for the council planning departments of the future – when, say, they have to decide if a proposed building development should go ahead on the affected land.

The problem is that security of storage and record-keeping was not always this way.

In the past, considerations like the environment – and even public health – were left out of account when deciding whether a big hole in the ground was a suitable place for a landfill site. The modern regulatory system only came into force as recently as the 1990s. [Read more…]