Wills, Trusts & Executries
Our private client department deal with various aspects of a client’s personal affairs, including the drafting of Wills and Powers of Attorney, as well as advising on inheritance tax planning and personal taxation generally.
We can tailor a Will to suit a client’s personal circumstances, and to take into account such diverse matters as previous marriages, step-children and dependants who will require continuing specialised care by reason of disability.
Writing a Will can set your mind at ease for the future, providing clarity for your loved ones and ensuring that the process is as straightforward as possible for your beneficiaries. Whether your affairs are simple or complex, we can assist you in preparing a Will to ensure your estate is distributed as per your wishes. Preparing a Will is often inexpensive, and offers peace of mind. Where a couple wish to prepare “mirror” Wills, our fees are discounted.
Inheritance Tax Planning
Inheritance tax is charged at 40% of the estate for assets over and above the nil rate band, which is currently £325,000. Walker & Sharpe recognise the importance of careful estate planning, and can provide you with advice regarding inheritance tax planning in your estate to protect your family’s interests and preserve assets for future generations.
The death of a loved one is a difficult experience, and dealing with legal formalities during this time is often an additional struggle. An executry is the process of administering and winding up all the deceased’s property, commonly known as the estate, in terms of their Will (or in the absence of a Will, in terms of the law of intestacy).
Walker & Sharpe will communicate with you at all stages of the process, and ensure that you are provided with all of the information and assistance that you need during such a difficult time.
Legal Rights Claims
The law in Scotland means that it’s not possible to entirely disinherit your spouse or children. If you need legal advice on this issue, get in touch with Walker & Sharpe today.
Co-habitant claims on death of partner
With the number of unmarried people living together increasing, it’s important to know what you’re legally entitled to upon the death of your partner. Walker & Sharpe can assist a surviving partner to apply for financial provision to be made for them from the deceased’s estate, whether this be a cash lump sum or a share in the deceased’s home which they shared together.
Trusts can be set up during your lifetime or on your death in terms of your Will. You will appoint Trustees to administer the Trust and pass the assets to your beneficiaries as and when directed by you. Trusts can be used for a variety of reasons tailored to your own circumstances, but are often used to cater for children, beneficiaries who have lost capacity or to mitigate or reduce inheritance tax liability, preserving assets for future generations.
Powers of Attorney
A Power of Attorney allows you to plan ahead for what you want another person to do for you in the future, should you become incapable of making decisions about your own financial or welfare affairs. A Power of Attorney is drawn up when you have capacity, and allows you to appoint another person, known as your Attorney, to take control of your affairs with various powers granted by you, in the event you become incapable of making decisions yourself. We can advise you in respect of all aspects of the granting and operation of a Power of Attorney, and can prepare a Power of Attorney for a fixed fee.
Guardianship and Intervention Orders
When someone has lost the capacity to make decisions for themselves and does not have a Power of Attorney in place, an order from the court, known as a Guardianship or Intervention Order may be required. The court will appoint and authorise a person, usually a relative or a professional, to act on behalf of the incapacitated adult. Guardianships often become necessary for people reaching the later years of their life who have lost mental capacity due to illness such as Dementia.
Walker & Sharpe also have extensive experience in making applications for Guardianships on behalf of parents of children who are not capable of managing their own affairs due to significant learning disability who have attained adulthood. Where there is a welfare element, Legal Aid is available and is not means-tested.
If you’d like more information about our services, or to find out how our private client department can help you, contact us today.