OUR PRIVATE CLIENT TEAM
Following on from our introduction to our Family Law and Litigation Department in last month’s issue; this month we’d like to introduce you to our Private Client Team. Based at our East Port office in Dunfermline, the team is headed by Senior Partner, Craig Bennet, assisted by Associate Lynsey Rintoul and Paralegal Linda Hunter. We also have Ken Paterson, Consultant, based in our Kinross office. More information about Craig, Ken and Lynsey can be found in the Meet the Teamsection on our website.
Together, our friendly, approachable and professional team brings a wealth of experience in all aspects of Private Client work, including:-
- Will drafting (your instruction for what is to happen to your estate on your death, including Inheritance Tax planning);
- Powers of Attorney (Setting out while you are mentally capable, who you want to make financial or welfare decisions on your behalf during your lifetime, should you be deemed to be suffering from mental incapacity in the future);
- Guardianships (a Court appointed person to deal with the affairs of someone who does not have mental capacity to deal with their own financial or welfare matters); and
- Executries (dealing with the estate of someone who has died).
Our elderly years and death are inevitable and planning ahead is something that we don’t often like to think about. The team can assist you through all stages of life and help you to prepare for whatever the future may bring.
Having a Power of Attorney in place can ensure that if you do need assistance with your financial affairs and/or personal welfare in the future, you get to have your say on who can make decisions for you and when they can make those decisions on your behalf. A Power of Attorney can only be put in place whilst you are capable and is not in any way you giving up the right to deal with your own affairs yourself. It can be updated and amended or brought to an end, if necessary during your lifetime, providing you have the mental capacity to do so and ends automatically on your death. The only people who can determine your mental capacity are a Doctor or Psychiatrist.
A Guardianship is where someone is appointed by the Court to deal with the affairs of someone else, where that person no longer has the mental capacity to appoint a Power of Attorney. This can apply to young adults suffering from a mental condition which means they will never be able to deal with their own affairs, or may be an elderly person who has been diagnosed with an illness such as Alzheimers or Dementia, who have not been deemed to have sufficient capacity to grant a Power of Attorney.
A Will, which is put in place as early as possible in life and is reviewed and updated regularly as circumstances change can make the dealing with your estate at a very emotional time for your family less complicated and costly. There are many misconceptions about who is entitled to inherit if you die without a Will. If you do die without a Will, the Law of Scotland will ultimately determine who can deal with your estate and who is entitled to inherit, which may not be who you had wanted. The only way to be sure that your wishes will be followed is to put a Will in place.
Dealing with a loved one’s estate on their death (known as an Executry) can be a difficult experience for someone who has never had to deal with it before. The Will acts as the instructions of the person who has died to say who they want to be responsible for ensuring their affairs are finalised and that their estate passes to their chosen beneficiaries. The role of an Executor is an important one and there are various duties and responsibilities that an Executor is charged with. This can include dealing with Inheritance Tax issues, selling property, dealing with Pensions, selling or transferring shares and investments. The Team can assist your Executors with as much or as little as they require and can offer invaluable guidance on how to deal with your estate as practically and efficiently as possible.
We have ground floor, accessible meeting rooms to meet with clients and can arrange home or hospital visits should coming to the office not be possible or practical. Meetings can also be arranged at our Kinross office.
To contact the team or arrange an appointment, please call our East Port office on 01383 620222, our Kinross Office on 01577 863424 or contact the team direct by email: