New Year, New Me – get fitter, eat better. Organise my affairs.  If you own a property, have investments, have a partner and/or dependants you need to think about ensuring your wishes are correctly documented and your affairs are in order in the event of your death.  It is important to plan ahead, whatever your age.  Our checklist below should help get your year off to a great start!

Do you have a Will?  If you don’t, you should consider having one put in place.  A Will is a great tool to ensure that your loved ones and/or intended beneficiaries receive what you want them to.  If you already have a Will,  it is important to review your Will every few years or when your personal circumstances change, for example following a change in your relationship or a death in the family or you inheriting money.  Your circumstances may have already changed but have you taken action to change your Will? Remember that it is the last Will you sign which governs what happens to your Estate.  By delaying making changes it could well result in those you wish to benefit missing out!

Do you have a Power of Attorney? A Power of Attorney is the legal authority for another person, known as the “attorney” to deal with your financial and welfare affairs.  It is drawn up when you have the capacity to do so.  Many people think that a family member will automatically be able to make welfare and financial decisions for them and help them when they need.  Sadly this is not the case.  Unless you have a Power of Attorney your family does NOT have the right to make decisions on your behalf.  Regardless of your age, it is important to take the time now to grant Power of Attorney to someone you trust. Being prepared can make all the difference for you and especially for your family members.

Do you know how much you are worth? Have you ever calculated the value of your assets? If not, it may be worth doing.  Knowing your financial situation is extremely important when it comes to mitigating inheritance tax, care cost planning and generally planning for the future.  Inheritance tax planning and care cost planning is best done early – it is therefore important to get advice as soon as possible.

If you would like help with any of the above or if you simply want to come in to review your circumstances, please do not hesitate to contact one of our Private Client Solicitors.

For further information contact our Private Client team

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Aberdeen 01224 332400

Aberdeen Property Office 01224 564636

Banchory 01330 822931

Ellon 01358 720777

Inverurie 01467 629300

Stonehaven 01569 762947