Wills, Executries and Trusts

The articles listed below from the Grigor & Young Website cover various aspects of the law of wills, executries and trusts. This is the area which covers not only wills but also the administration of the estates of people after they have died and the particular issue of Confirmation / Probate. Powers of Attorney and Guardianships are related areas of law.

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?

[Read more…]

How Your Will Can Help CLAN Cancer Support in March 2019

As in previous years, Grigor & Young LLP will be running a promotion in March 2019 designed to encourage you to make a Will and help charity at the same time.

Would you be willing to support CLAN Cancer Support this March?

This year, we’ve chosen CLAN Cancer Support as our nominated charity.

CLAN is a well-established local charity that provides emotional and practical support to those affected by cancer across Moray, the north-east of Scotland, Orkney and Shetland.

Over the last 30 years, CLAN has developed specialist knowledge and understanding of how a diagnosis of cancer impacts not just the person diagnosed but also their wider circle of family and close friends.

Their range of person-centred services – delivered using qualified and experienced counsellors and therapists – offers a holistic approach for the general well-being of their clients.

[Read more…]

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. [Read more…]

What Happens To Your Digital Assets After Your Death?

Our digital life will last beyond our own life.

As our lives become more and more digitised, we are creating a new category of personal property, that is, digital assets. This includes online accounts, photos, music and emails.

There are three areas generally identified – to think about and prepare for – when it comes to your digital and online life:

  • Digital assets with financial value, such as online banking, PayPal, online shopping accounts and cryptocurrencies (for example Bitcoin);
  • Digital assets with social value, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles; and
  • Digital assets of personal significance, such as Cloud storage, Flickr, YouTube and iTunes.

[Read more…]

Why Should You Leave Something to Charity in Your Will?

Statistics quoted by the Institute of Fundraising indicate that, though 58% of the UK population give to charity during their lifetime, only 7% leave a bequest or legacy to charity in their will (mentioned in this pdf download, entitled “Legacies (in 60 minutes)”).

The problem with considering leaving something to charity in our will probably stems from our general reluctance to talk about death and money in the same sentence.

There are various reasons why people choose to leave money or property to a charity in their will.

  • They may be an existing donor of the charity.

[Read more…]

How Making a Will can help The Oaks Palliative Care Unit this November

Would you be willing to support a scheme to donate money to The Oaks?

It was as a result of the campaign for a Hospice in Moray during the 1990s that The Oaks was built on the western outskirts of Elgin. It opened in 2003.

It is administered by NHS Grampian and provides specialist care and support for people in Moray with cancer or other progressive illnesses.

The aim of the palliative care offered by centres such as The Oaks is to help the patient – and everyone affected by their illness – achieve the best quality of life.

The facility is an important resource for Moray.

Although it is located close to the main Inverness to Aberdeen A96 trunk road, it has a leafy, detached setting. The high standards reached in the design of the building were recognised in 2010 (and again in 2015) by the award of a Macmillan Quality Environment Mark.

For the month of November, Grigor & Young will be donating £100 from each fee for preparation of a Will to The Oaks.

[Read more…]

Executry and Trust Distinction for Carol

One of Grigor & Young’s employees in our Elgin Private Client Department, Carol Holmes (née Brown), has recently become registered as a full member of the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

With effect from February 2016, Carol is not only an Executry Paralegal but also a Registered Trust and Estate Practitioner, having completed STEP’s Diploma with an overall grade of ‘Distinction’. [Read more…]

Why Every Adult Should Have A Power Of Attorney

We know about the importance of having a Will if you die, but what about if you lose mental capacity? – say, if you have a stroke or an accident.

When a relative loses mental capacity, it can be an awkward business organising their finances.

It’s an issue which The Martin Lewis Money Show (ITV, 23 January 2015) has tackled.

His emphasis was on England and Wales but the lessons to be learned are equally applicable in Scotland. [Read more…]

No Will Means No Guarantee Your Loved Ones Will Inherit

As Kate watched Tom drive off from outside their house that bleak Moray morning, it was the last time she would ever see him alive.

As usual, as he was leaving the house, he had kissed her and she had told him to “take care”.

An important question for all of us

Have you considered whether, when you die, your property and assets will actually go to the people you want to get them? [Read more…]