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Death of a Sole Director - What Next?

Death of a Sole Director - What Next?

When a sole director of a company dies, there can often be difficulties. However, those difficulties are, perhaps, more evident where a sole shareholder dies who is also the sole director of a company.

The general position is that where a company has a number of directors and one of the directors dies, the surviving directors can continue to manage the organisation. If the sole shareholder of a company dies, the directors can continue to manage the company until the deceased shareholder's beneficiaries have the

Letters of Wishes

Letters of Wishes

You have made a Will. Congratulations! This now means all of your affairs are in order, your Will can be easily interpreted upon your death and your family will understand your reasons for what you have chosen to include in your Will. Well, not necessarily. It can, at times, be difficult to understand someone's Will after their death and it may be that a Letter of Wishes can clarify matters.

What is a Letter of Wishes?

A Letter of Wishes is as it says: a

You own a business? Make a Will!

You own a business? Make a Will!

For many, the prospect of making a Will to adequately provide for their family can seem a rather daunting task. However, when you are a business owner, the number of issues to be considered increases. With that in mind, why should business owners make a Will? Is it really that important?

Planning for the future

Succession planning is often at the forefront of a business owner's mind to ensure that the business can carry on when they are no longer here. A Will should be

Changes to Inheritance Tax?

Changes to Inheritance Tax?

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has made some recommendations and proposals to make changes to Inheritance Tax. Whilst these proposals may look good on the surface, do they actually lead to the elimination of some useful tax breaks such as taper relief?

Timescales

A welcome proposal made by the OTS is the reduction of the seven-year gifting rule to five years. This would see individuals being able to make gifts to their children and only have to survive five years for it to

What is a Liferent?

What is a Liferent?

Dependent upon your family circumstances, it may be sensible to consider including a liferent provision in your Will. However, what is a liferent exactly and how may it benefit you?

What is a liferent? 

A liferent can be used where you wish your spouse, for instance, to benefit from the income from your assets or be in a position to use those assets, without them having outright entitlement to/ownership of those assets. Instead, the assets will ultimately pass to others; most commonly, your children.

A

Failsafe Beneficiary - Future Proofing Your Will

Failsafe Beneficiary - Future Proofing Your Will

We're all going on a summer holiday?

It's that time of year again. Sun, sea and sand... it's holiday time.

Multi-generational travel has increased markedly over the past few years. No longer is it simply mum, dad and the children jetting off abroad, it is now mum, dad, the grandparents, the grandchildren etc. Whilst family time on those long summer days is on everyone's mind, it is also important to consider what if something happened to all of us? Do I need a failsafe beneficiary?

To Cremate or Compost? - Your Will and Funeral Instructions

To Cremate or Compost? - Your Will and Funeral Instructions

Deciding upon what you wish to happen to your body when you die is never an easy thought. What would your family want? Should you be buried? But along with that can often come additional expenditure on top of funeral costs, including purchasing a lair etc. Or should you be cremated and have your ashes scattered in that special place?

Well, now there may be no need to decide between the two if the latest decision emerging from Washington, USA is anything to go by.

The Importance of Reviewing Your Will

The Importance of Reviewing Your Will

If you have a Will in place, it is important to review this on a regular basis to ensure it is up to date with your personal and financial circumstances.

People often think of reviewing matters such as the amount of money to be left to nieces or nephews or who should, in fact, inherit the family heirlooms. However, most don't think to review who they have appointed as their Executor in their Will. So why is this important?

What is an Executor?

An

Wills and Powers of Attorney - Do You Have Your Affairs in Order?

Wills and Powers of Attorney - Do You Have Your Affairs in Order?

It's Lent - the Christian period of time for reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. With that in mind, what better time than to focus your mind on your affairs and having everything in order so that you and your family have a secure and comfortable future. This can be sorted with both a Will and Power of Attorney.

Your Will

Your Will is probably one of the most important documents that you can make. It is vital if you wish to protect

Removal of an Executor - A Change in the Law?

Removal of an Executor - A Change in the Law?

You have made a Will. Congratulations! This puts you ahead of the almost 60% of the Scottish population who do not have Wills in place.

In your Will, you have appointed an Executor; the person charged with implementing the terms of your Will and carrying out their legal duties as your Executor. However, in light of the recent case involving a man who murdered his mum, but because he is named as the Executor in her Will he can attend to administering her estate, some

Business Development Mistakes

Business Development Mistakes

'It's in the diary.' 'Let's catch up over coffee.' These are typical phrases which are uttered when we hear the words - 'business development'. What are we really looking to gain from having countless lunches and coffees with contacts we may not have seen or heard from in a while?

The purpose

In these uncertain times, businesses can no longer afford to cherry pick where their business comes from. Work may be referred continuously from one reliable source or may come from the man in

Legal Rights

Legal Rights

'But I've not spoken to my children in 10 years!!' Whether or not you choose to make a Will, there exists what are known as 'Legal Rights' in Scotland. Some argue that if they have chosen to make a Will and expressed a clear wish that their children are not to inherit any of their estate, then why should their children, who they, perhaps, have not seen nor spoken to for many years, be able to lay any claim against their estate? The theory behind

How Important is the Appointment of an Executor?

How Important is the Appointment of an Executor?

When it comes to Wills, most people are focused purely on how the estate will be distributed. Questions such as 'have I given enough to my grandchildren?' and 'will my spouse be adequately provided for?' are, obviously, very important matters to consider. However, the appointment of an Executor is just as important.

Who should I appoint?

Your Executor is responsible for dealing with the administration of your estate and ensuring that the terms of your Will are carried out, often with the assistance of a

Funeral Instructions - Do They Matter?

Funeral Instructions - Do They Matter?

One of the benefits of making a Will is that you can narrate your funeral instructions and let your family know your specific wishes for your funeral. However, as you will not be here to know if these wishes have been carried out, is it really worth stipulating what should happen to your body and at your funeral service?

The inclusion of funeral instructions in your Will is a guide to your Executors and family and can be as straightforward or as complicated as you

What is a Living Will?

What is a Living Will?

We are often asked - what is a Living Will?

It is:

  • a statement expressing your views about how you would like to be treated in the future
  • a Will of sorts but applies whilst you are alive not after your death
  • essentially an expression of your wishes set out in advance of illness at a time when you have the mental capacity to understand the issues involved and provide clear directions
  • used to outline circumstances in which you would like medical treatment withheld e.g.

Trusts - The Basics

Trusts - The Basics

I think you should set up a trust; this will protect your assets. Sounds great! But what is a trust? What can you put in to a trust? And will there be any charges associated with the trust?

What is a Trust?

A trust is when one person is given property to hold for the benefit of another. Dependent upon the size and complexity of your estate, particularly if your assets are over the threshold for Inheritance Tax (currently £325,000), you may wish to consider

Your Will - The digital age and digital assets

Your Will - The digital age and digital assets

Is the digital era making our lives much simpler and easier? Well, not necessarily when it comes to completing your Will. When we think about making our Will, very few of us realise that digital assets can be included.

With the emergence of Bitcoin for instance, it may be that this type of cryptocurrency will become more popular over time. Also, with more and more online banking and share portfolios being held online, it is important to give adequate information to your Executors to enable

Know your Inheritance Tax Gift Exemptions

Know your Inheritance Tax Gift Exemptions

Life can be taxing at times, no more so than on death. So it is important to consider the potential inheritance tax implications which can arise upon your death.

When you die, Inheritance Tax may be payable on your estate. Each person has a Nil Rate Band of £325,000, meaning that any assets up to this value are charged at 0% inheritance tax. Anything above this value has a charge to Inheritance Tax of 40% unless exempt.

Married couples and registered civil partners, however, are

I'M PERFECTLY CAPABLE! I don't need a Power of Attorney!

I'M PERFECTLY CAPABLE! I don't need a Power of Attorney!

!'m perfectly capable! I can manage, don't worry. I don't need a Power of Attorney.

None of us likes to think that there will come a time when we cannot manage our own affairs. Despite reminders from our families, it is not always easy to admit that we may require a little help.

Contrary to popular belief, should you lose capacity for any reason and be unable to attend to your own affairs, your family cannot simply step in and take control for you. There

Do I really need a Will?

Do I really need a Will?

It's ok, don't worry. My wife will get everything.

These words are uttered more than any other when someone dies without a Will. It is a common misconception that should you die without having made a Will that your spouse will receive your entire estate. Indeed, it doesn't matter if you have only been married for one year, ten years or thirty years, your spouse does not automatically inherit your whole estate. Surprisingly, your spouse is not the only person who can inherit your estate

Paying for Care - What is deliberate deprivation of capital?

Paying for Care - What is deliberate deprivation of capital?

With one in four of us likely to need care in our old age, the issue of paying for care home fees has never been more common. Exploring options to reduce capital/savings/assets has become popular, including placing property into trust. Is this an attractive way of avoiding care fees?

For example, take a lady who is 78 who has mobility issues and is struggling with day to day living. After much deliberation, it is decided that a care home is the most sensible move for