How to make your Will (even under lockdown conditions)

We’re all worried by the current world health situation.

Many of us have more time on our hands than we’re used to and our thoughts will be on the need to look after ourselves, as well as protecting those around us.

This includes assessing our personal affairs and deciding whether we need to review an existing Will or make a Will for the first time.

You might decide to go to a solicitor to get your Will done.

If you go to a solicitor to make your Will, you can expect that you will have at least one face-to-face meeting with them.

This is for several reasons, including:

• It allows your solicitor to check that you have legal capacity – that you understand the implications of making a Will.
• It allows the solicitor to take your instructions comprehensively and get on with drafting the Will for your approval as soon as possible – no one wants to delay finalising a Will longer than necessary.
• It minimises the risk of misunderstandings as to what your wishes are with regard to your property and estate.
• It enables your solicitor to check that there is no other person obviously exercising influence over you – and how and why you have decided to distribute your estate in this way (which can leave a Will open to challenge later).

The face-to-face meeting is not just a ‘good idea’.

It’s pretty much a professional requirement. Your solicitor has to meet you in person in order to be seen to be acting with your best interests in mind.

In many cases, your solicitor will meet you at least twice:

• Firstly, to get your instructions for the Will; and
• Secondly, at the point when you sign your Will.

Current public health restrictions prevent solicitors from meeting their clients face to face.

Is it possible to get round the problem of solicitors not being able to meet their clients and still make a valid Will with the help of a solicitor?

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Wills promotion proceeds donated to CLAN

On 17 February 2020, Carol Holmes (Registered Trust & Estate Practitioner), Rory Anderson (Trainee Solicitor) and Elin Jones (Solicitor), all of Grigor & Young LLP, presented a “large pretend cheque” for the real money amount of £4,111.11 to Julie Muir of CLAN.

This was the proceeds of the firm’s will promotion run during 2019, presented to CLAN as the firm’s charity of the year.

Many thanks to Tracy Sellar and Julie Muir of CLAN for their assistance in helping set up the handover of the cheque.

CLAN Cancer Support is a well-established, local charity providing emotional and practical support to people affected by cancer, together with their families, carers and friends.

Their services are freely offered to all – from pre-diagnosis and diagnosis through treatment and beyond – at support and wellbeing centres located across north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland.

Carol, Rory and Elin present the cheque to Julie from CLAN

Finding the best solicitors in Elgin Moray

It’s not possible for us to take on as a client everyone who gets in touch with us at Grigor & Young / Moray Claims.

Why we might not be able to help you directly

  • As a relatively small, local firm we may not have capacity to take on the work at the time you contact us. It could be that you need something done urgently and we cannot commit the necessary resources to it at short notice and in the face of an early deadline.
  • Another reason we may not be able to take on your case it that it could be in an area of law which we do not cover (e.g. criminal law).
  • A different type of problem arises where you have a dispute with another person and they are already a client of Grigor & Young. We would not be able to represent either you or them in relation to that particular matter due to the conflict of interest.

What alternative options are there for you?

Where we cannot help you directly, we are often asked to suggest other Solicitors and Estate Agents in Elgin and we are glad to do so.

We covered this question in a 2014 article on this website.

It’s interesting to see how the legal landscape in Elgin has changed over the intervening period. Some practices have ceased to trade, usually because they have amalgamated with another firm of solicitors, and one or two new businesses have appeared.

The alphabetical list below details some of the well-regarded firms and lawyers in the Elgin area.

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A letter to Elgin in 1812 (Can you help us decipher it?)

We’ve written previously about a Grigor & Young employment contract from the 1850s.

This time, it’s about a letter even older than that, possibly with connections to Grigor & Young.

Until his recent retirement, John Chalmers helped us as a Law Accountant, feeing up files for us in court-related matters.

John’s main hobby is philately.

His particular interests are in German stamps up to the end of the Allied Occupation, Scottish postcards, and postal history.

As part of his online postal history research, he came across what he called an “entire letter” (as opposed to simply a “wrapper”, which is only the outer cover of a letter).

He kindly sent us the letter on loan. We set out various photos of it below.

The letter is addressed to a Robert Grigor, Writer, Elgin.

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Getting legal help after an injury

Having your life disrupted by injury is bound to generate a lot of worries and questions.

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has published a downloadable booklet.

It centres on how, if you have suffered injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to claim compensation and get assistance with rehabilitation to promote your recovery.

The booklet answers some regularly-asked questions. You can download a copy of the booklet from this website or via the APIL website.

The booklet also discusses the benefits of getting advice from an APIL-accredited lawyer.

Many of the questions covered briefly in the booklet are ones which we have previously discussed on our Moray Claims website and we set out these questions below.

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Elgin BID Awards 2019

We were delighted to be runners-up in the Local Professional Services category at the 2019 Elgin BID Business Awards.

The Award Ceremony took place in the Beechtree Restaurant at Moray College, Elgin, on 02 October 2019.

Congratulations to Hunted Cow Studios on their first prize in the Professional Services class.

Also, well done to IT Central who were named as runners-up along with us.

The awards are held annually, in partnership with the Northern Scot. This year, there were 10 award categories.

According to Elgin BID, the Business Awards are about celebrating the local businesses that provide great services to the area.

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Coffee Morning for Macmillan Cancer Support

Grigor & Young’s Elgin office will host a Coffee Morning on Friday 27 September 2019 from 10:30am to 2:00pm as part of Macmillan Cancer Support’s annual ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’.

Our Reception area will be open for you to pop in for a cuppa, cake and chat. In return, we ask you to make a donation to our collection for Macmillan Cancer Support.

There will also be a Raffle.

Many of the raffle prizes have kindly been donated by local businesses (for more details, see below).

The first ever Macmillan Coffee Morning took place in 1990.

It was a humble beginning with a simple idea behind it.

Guests would gather over coffee and donate the cost of their drink to Macmillan in the process.

Since that time, Coffee Morning has raised over £200 million for Macmillan.

We hope to see you on the 27th!

The following are kindly donating food and drink.

Starbucks – Coffee
The Little Lunchbox – Traybakes
Ashers Bakery – Fruit scones

Thanks to the following businesses which have donated prizes for the raffle.

The Macallan – Bottle of Gold Double Cask
Batchen Street Coffee – Huskee travel cup and coffee
M & Co – Scarf
BeJewelled – Record clock
Keith Brewery – Gift pack of 6 beers
Moray Leisure Centre – 2 x family passes for swimming/ice skating.
Pinz – Voucher for 6 people bowling
Chuck McCall Highland Wear – Voucher for kilt hire
Royan of Elgin, Butchers – £10 voucher
J C Dawson Butchers – £20 voucher
Walkers Shortbread – Hamper
Alluring Boutique – £15 voucher
The Loft – £10 voucher
Waterstones – Various books
Tamdhu – Bottle of whisky
Sunrite Blinds – Bottle of Aberlour 10yr old and bottle of Smirnoff Vodka
Grigor & Young – Voucher for simple, ‘mirror’ Wills

With Power of Attorney the future is in your hands

On one afternoon recently, we had 2 calls from people who wanted to discuss “the accident that I had recently”.

Both put the phone down when our receptionist asked them if they realised that they were calling a firm of solicitors.

Nobody likes getting a cold call.

The cold callers hoped to take something off the hands of the person answering the phone – a personal injury claim – and in an unsolicited fashion. In this article, we hope to persuade you (gently) that, with Power of Attorney, the future is in your hands. (And you found this article; we did not hunt you down like a cold caller would).

Yes, a power of attorney involves an element of giving up powers and responsibilities to others but it allows that to happen in a planned and controlled way.

Did you know that one in fourteen of us will develop dementia at some point in the future?

This loss of capacity is likely to result in a person being hospitalised at some point.

Did you know that, without power of attorney, you cannot act for your husband, wife, mother, father, or anyone else, should they lose capacity?

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Continuing increase in employment tribunal claims in first quarter of 2019

The rise in the number of employment tribunal claims is continuing since the abolition of tribunal fees almost 2 years ago.

The Ministry of Justice has published its most recent quarterly statistics for the period from 01 January 2019 to 31 March 2019.

The data for those 3 months shows, for example, that new claims by single applicants (as opposed to multi-party claims) were up by 6% compared to the same period in 2018.

There was also an increase in the number of multiple claims (by 13%). (Multiple claims – in the sense of cases where the claimant has a number of different complaints against the employer – are very common. They are probably more the rule  than the exception).

Employment tribunal fees were introduced in July 2013 and abolished in July 2017.

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What is involved in being a lawyer?

Comedian, Eddie Izzard, has described his stand-up routine “Death Star Canteen” as his “Hotel California”.

That may be because it has become so closely associated with him that he can “never leave” it behind.

Strangely, Lego has had an important part to play in popularising Izzard’s imaginary scenario, which takes place in the bowels of the Death Star. Darth Vader argues with a canteen assistant over various matters relating to the Jedi’s order of Penne all’Arrabbiata (caution: some sweary bits in Death Star Canteen).

It’s a revealing commentary on aspects of people’s jobs we might not otherwise consider.

On the one hand, here’s something of what Darth Vader does in his down time, when he’s not killing people or blowing things up.

On the other hand, the lowest-ranking workers – in the canteen, for example – are so out of touch with “management” that the assistant thinks Vader’s first name is “Jeff” and he does not even know that his workplace is within a “star”.

What is involved in different people’s jobs (including solicitors) was up for discussion at an Industry Insight Event in Elgin Academy on 15 May 2019. Coincidentally, Lego also played a part in the discussion, as we go on to explain below.

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