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Fergusson Law, Solicitors in Edinburgh – Private client legal services

News

Fergusson Law shares their latest news, the latest legal news and provides some legal advice on this blog.

NEWLY RETIRED? PLAN FOR THE FUTURE

By the year 2040 one in 12 of us will be aged over 80. With an ageing population, it makes sense for each of us to consider the future and put in place plans for future care and legal protection to look after our affairs.

Care Home Planning

Advice from Fergusson Law can help smooth the process of choosing to move to a care home.

  • Write a Will which helps preserve your assets for your family and minimise care home costs.
  • Help you budget your money and arrange for all your bills to be paid.
  • Deal with your state benefits and apply for additional benefits if you are eligible.
  • Sort out your tax affairs including Income Tax.
  • Deal with the Local Authority on your behalf.

Power of Attorney

This is a very useful legal tool which everyone should consider putting in place.  By making a Lasting Power of Attorney, you are able to choose who will have the legal authority to manage your affairs and speak on your behalf if, in the future, you lose capacity to do so because of physical illness, frailty or mental health issues.  It is a comfort to know that one or two people whom you trust completely and who know your preferences and life choices, will be able to stand in for you when you are in need of help.  A word of caution. We advise against having joint Attorneys.  By all means have more than one who can each act for you alone but it can be complex if two people have to be present together at, say, a bank branch, in order to take any action.  We can explain further .  Ring us on 0131 556 4044.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney; one dealing with property and finance and the other concerned with health and welfare matters.

Making a Will

Making a Will, is relatively quick and simple. It can also give you peace of mind, knowing that your affairs are in order, so that everything will be straightforward for your family and loved ones.  We offer fixed prices and will store your Will. 

TRUSTEES. PERSONAL SAVINGS ALLOWANCE EFFECTS?

When changes are made to simplify income tax for individuals there are usually knock-on effects on trusts and estates which do not seem to be fully thought through. The introduction of the Personal Savings Allowance (PSA) of £5,000 per annum for individuals to enable interest to be paid gross without tax deducted at source is such an example.

In theory, the PSA is a welcome simplification but in practice it raises the prospect of lots of small trusts with low income and estates using informal payments having to file a tax return. This is because trustees and personal representatives do not benefit from the PSA yet banks, building societies and National Savings will be paying their interest gross from April 2016.

HMRC have confirmed that for 2016/17 it will not require notification from trustees or personal representatives dealing with estates in administration where the only source of income is savings interest and the tax liability is below £100. HMRC are currently reviewing the situation longer term and will notify customers before 2017/18 tax year as to what the new arrangements might be.

Call Janice on 0131 556 4044 for more advice.

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CAN I CONTEST A WILL?

The law in this area is complex, and a will can be contested by a wide range of people 

  • Beneficiaries. 

  • Individuals or organisations promised an inheritance. 

  • Individuals or organisations who have been disinherited. 

  • Other third parties affected by the present will or a previous will. 

  • Individuals who are or were related to the Deceased or who were dependant upon the Deceased. 

From the outset we will discuss your case with you and advise you as to whether you are able to contest a will. 

 

If a person making a will was not of sound mind when the will was made, it may not be valid..  
 
This is known as not having “testamentary capacity”. With an ageing population and the rise of illnesses such as Alzheimers, dementia and other similar conditions, there is an increasing number of challenges to wills on the ground of lack of capacity.  
 
 
The person making the will must understand: 

  • That they are making a will and the consequences of making a will

  • The extent of their property. 

  • The claims of those who might expect to be left something in the will.

  • What Rights you as a family member might have

Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about contesting a will.
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