“After all, to the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure… “
Albus Dumbledore - Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J .K .Rowling.
Death is something none of us like to think about. On the other hand, most people if asked are clear that a priority to them is to leave their loved ones financially protected. People seek to have their Will prepared in times of uncertainty and vulnerability such as embarking on that long awaited lifetime adventure, a health scare or impending surgery. The present Covid19 virus is no exception. People are making wills for the first time or updating and amending existing ones.
A Will is a legal document which allows a person to set out instructions as to how they wish their assets at death distributed. This includes heritable property (land and buildings), shares and other investments, bank accounts, as well as personal items such as jewellery. You also have the opportunity to choose an Executor who is the person responsible for carrying out your wishes. A professionally prepared Will should also take account of your individual requirements for family, assets held and necessary tax planning so as to better protect the assets passing down to family and other vulnerable beneficiaries.
Having no Will can mean that those dearest to you may not be the people who benefit from your assets on your death. The lack of a Will can also incur additional costs and delays. No estate is too large nor too small to benefit from having a Will prepared.
When having a Will prepared, people also often have what is referred to as a Power of Attorney put in place. A Power of Attorney is an additional legal document which authorises one or more persons whom you choose to act on your behalf should you become mentally or physically impaired. It can cover financial and welfare matters and in most cases both. Without a Power of Attorney, your family and others around you who would help are unable to do so and may have to resort to asking the Court to intervene with what is known as a Guardianship Order, which is far more costly and time consuming. Those appointed also have a far more onerous task in accounting / reporting to the Office of the Public Guardian. A Power of Attorney makes the whole process much simpler and allows you the choice of who will be responsible for you.
Again the current Covid19 outbreak is having a significant effect on the need for existing Powers of Attorney to be implemented or new ones put in place as those in the vulnerable age range remain isolated for a significant period or as families become more aware during this period of the vulnerability and deterioration in the health of their loved ones.
Here at Kippen Campbell we have been serving the local community and beyond for over 175 years and have for generations advised families on all aspects of making a Will and Power of Attorney.
Jacqueline Dow, Private Client Senior Associate
Thank you for being there are every stage of this process, the ease of talking to you, the efficiency that you get things done and the advice you give. I look forward to your advice over the coming years.