McEwan Fraser Legal can now assist you with the preparation of your Will, Power of Attorney, Guardianship Application, Trust, Inheritance Tax Planning and Executry Administration.
With many people ignoring the importance of planning ahead, here are a few of the facts explained:
It is estimated that about 70% of the population do not have a Will. It is vital that you make a Will so that your estate can be distributed according to your wishes.
A Will can be a complex legal document and should be completed by professionals you can trust and in the manner you desire. In Scotland, if you die without having made a Will, any property or assets you hold at the time of your death would fall into the hands of intestate law where the Government will decide who the estate beneficiary becomes.
This may not be the person you would wish your assets and belongings to be passed to and the law does not always take an obvious course. A far longer process than necessary ensues and can even include court proceedings, creating more stress and anxiety for your relatives.
If you are living with someone (cohabiting) but not in a civil partnership or married to them, they will have no right to any part of your estate, and this could result in serious financial problems.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a document in which you detail who is to look after your affairs, in the event of you no longer being able to control your affairs (becoming incapacitated), after an illness or accident, you will have the peace of mind that the person you selected is looking after your finances and making the decisions you are no longer able to. Granting a Power of Attorney is a protective step and is not an acknowledgement that capacity has been, or is about to be, lost.
Inheritance Tax (IHT)
It’s important to remember that when you die, your estate could be subject to inheritance tax, with careful planning you can reduce the amount payable. The IHT threshold is currently £325,000 per person, so married couples and civil partners can have a joint estate of £650,000 before any IHT is payable. In most cases, tax is currently payable at 40% of everything over the IHT threshold.
There are various ways you can reduce the size of your taxable estate, such as with lifetime gifts, trusts, charitable giving and other forms of planning. It is important to think a long way ahead, as some aspects of IHT planning need seven years to take full effect.
McEwan Fraser Legal have formal strategic relationships with many professionals in the financial sector throughout Scotland and we would liaise with them or your professional connections to help mitigate any taxes against the estate.
- Guardianship Applications
- Estate/Executry Administration
The team at McEwan Fraser Legal understand the importance of planning for the future.
Contact the Private Client Division on 0131 524 9797 for more details on any of these services.