Making an online Will with MyScottishWill- how does it work?

MSA how does it work

See other videos like this at MyScottishWill

 Video narrative

Making an online will – how does it work?

 

The concept is quite simple. What I have done is set up the website so that it asks you a series of questions and all you have to do is answer those questions.

These are simple questions, for instance, your name and address and who you want benefit. You are guided through the system by these questions and at the end of the process you have a valid Will.

What you must understand is that you do not pay a penny until you are quite satisfied.

Having answered all the questions you are, then, presented out with am a summary of what it is that you want in your Will and only one you are completely satisfied our about that you press the button and that then you are asked to pay.

You can go back, you can go away and have a cup of coffee, you can go away for a week and come back and finish it.

Only when you are completely satisfied are you asked to pay.

I have been providing this service online for a few years now and have hundreds of happy customers and the reason I think that there are happy is because it is easy, it is inexpensive and it is private.

See other videos like this at MyScottishWill

Bruce de Wert

 

Online Power of Attorney – Can I make it for Mum and Dad? Video blog

MSA make it for Mum and Dad

See other videos like this at MyScottishAttorney

Can I make a Power of Attorney for my Mum and Dad?

Video narrative

One thing I should say, when I am talking about “you” making the Power of Attorney on MyScottishAttorney, is that, of course, I know that many people are not, actually, making the Power for themselves.

I know it is, actually, the son or the daughter who is completing forms.

I just want to reassure you that that happens all the time.

I have been providing this service online for a few years now and have hundreds of happy customers and the reason I think that there are happy is because it is easy, it is inexpensive and it is private.

See other videos like this at MyScottishAttorney

Bruce de Wert

Bitter family feud over Mum’s houses and her Will

Children can be wicked and I thought my readers may be interested in such a case which has been recently decided in the Court of Session

Lord_Uist

Lord Uist

It involved a vulnerable 80-year-old Mum of three boys, Mrs Audrey Matossian, who was “persuaded” to hand over her three valuable houses to 2 of the brothers. The judge in the case, Lord Uist, said that these sons had a “dominant influence” and “there was an absence of independent advice and assistance.”

Two of the brothers had organised their own Solicitor (that she did not know) and drove their Mum to one of their houses where she met him. They had primed the Solicitor that their mother wanted to hand over the properties and he had prepared the documents ready for her to sign. She did, indeed, sign but, a few days later, she had her own Solicitor draw up a will appointing the third brother as Executor. As the judge said, that showed that she had no real intention of transferring the three properties to the brothers.

Clearly, the two boys cared nothing for their Mum because she ended up with no houses and a large Capital Gains Tax bill.

When Mum died, the executor raised an action asking the judge to “reduce” (reverse) those property transfers and he had very little hesitation in doing so, saying, in legal language, that she was vulnerable and they took advantage of her.

He was, in fact, very critical of all of the brothers who he said had subjected the court to the “undignified spectacle of a family feud”. None of them had backed down and they all wanted their day in court, he said.

Incidentally, the two brothers had the cheek to claim that, even if the judge were to reverse the transfers, they were entitled to compensation for the improvements that they had made to the house. The judge dismissed that, out of hand, saying that they should not gain from their bad intentions.

It goes to show that, sometimes, as Executor, it is worthwhile investigating the circumstances of an earlier transfer if the deceased was vulnerable at the time.

You can read the full judgement as well as a legal news report.

Bruce de Wert cropped.and websizeBruce de Wert

I am a Scottish Solicitor in private practice with over 25 years of experience and have 4 offices at Georgesons and Smiths Grant. As well as the standard legal business model, I also offer Online Divorces and, by a separate limited company, OnlineWills and Powers of Attorney.

If you wish to consult me, please e-mail me at [email protected] in the first instance.

Challenging Wills in Scotland – Part 1 – the basics


Challenging the will In this series of blogs, I shall be dealing with the main issues that I have experienced in dealing with claims on Estates.

That experience is from both sides, acting, on various occasions for the claimant and, on others, for the Executor.

I shall write, later, on the situation where there is no Will at all – or, at least, not one that can be found.

Looking at the big picture, when compared to England, there are few legal challenges to Wills in Scotland. This is because the law lays down strict rules whereby children and spouses, disappointed by the provision (or lack of it) in the Will can claim specific amounts or percentages of the estate of a deceased whereas, in England, the law is judge-made and each case is judged on it’s merits.

That is not to say that the manner of identifying the specific amount is simple. It is apparently so but subject to a number of complex quirks so, sometimes, it is worth challenging what is offered or, at least, having the calculation checked.

Co-habitees, incidentally, are in a special situation with their own rules and I intend to write about that, also.

Most of the cases I have dealt with relate to such claims but there are others where the challenge is much more fundamental and relates to the validity of the Will itself or, where there is no doubt as to its validity, it’s interpretation.

On other occasions, there are challenges to the actions of the Executor in implementing (or failing to implement) the Will of the deceased. Sadly, not everyone acts as they ought and, whilst most challenges succeed because of ignorance of the law (even from some Solicitors as it is complex and specialised), there are dishonest executors out there and even, very sadly (but, thankfully,  very rarely), dishonest Solicitors that need to be brought to book.

More soon.

Bruce de Wert cropped.and websizeBruce de Wert

I am a Scottish Solicitor in private practice with over 25 years of experience and have 4 offices at Georgesons and Smiths Grant. As well as the standard legal business model, I also offer Online Divorces and, by a separate limited company, Online Wills and Powers of Attorney.

If you wish to consult me, please e-mail me at [email protected] in the first instance.

Inexpensive and easy Scottish separation agreements. Can it be done? Help needed.

 

Bruce de Wert

Bruce de Wert

Let us say that you have “separated” and everything is going swimmingly. You have, informally, agreed any current issues. Why on earth would you want to rock the boat? What is the point in making a formal agreement?

I feel like a party-pooper when I pose these questions….

  • Who is to say that whatever informal agreements that you have made will last?
  • Even if they did, what would happen if you were to die prematurely?
  • Where do kids fit in?
  • What if you want a divorce?
  • What about the future?
  • It is expensive to see a lawyer but will it cost you more not to see a lawyer?

You are where you are and it is not easy. The current way out is for both parties to see separate lawyers. This is time consuming, emotionally draining and, with two lawyers involved, usually, expensive.

It is not that the lawyers cause this but the very step of seeing separate lawyers focuses on the conflicts where there may well be a great deal of common ground.

I have an idea whereby the parties could, with some legal guidance, set out their common ground in a draft separation agreement. This would leave only those areas where there is real disagreement to be dealt with by lawyers. That would save money and stress.

In certain cases you could end up with a whole agreement although, as a lawyer, I would feel uneasy about it not being checked over for the stuff the things you may have forgotten about or are yet to crop up.

It is my goal to make something complex both easy and inexpensive, just as with MyScottishDivorce, MyScottishWill and MyScottishAttorney.

It can be done but I need a little help.

In the comments box, below, please let me have your thoughts about but not limited to:-

  • Would it help you?
  • Have you been through this process? How would this have made it easier?
  • What would make it easy?
  • What would you want from such a system?
  • What would it look like?
  • What would it cost?
  • Would you consider an agreement that was based upon legal principles that had not been checked, by lawyers, for your particular circumstances.

I shall be very grateful to all contributors and I look forward to the discussion.

Bruce de Wert

 

A child’s Will disinheritance dilemma – to claim or not claim…

Bruce de Wert

Bruce de Wert

Sometimes, I see (or I am asked to write) Wills where the parent has fallen out with a child (or vice versa) and, as a result, decided to leave them something but very little compared to the others.

The child is then faced with a dilemma. Should they accept what is in the will or should they claim “legal rights“?

Legal rights can only be money so, if the child has been left some family papers or Grandad’s medals, this can cause a dilemma. Should they take the money or the emotion-laden legacy?

They cannot have both. They must opt for one or the other.

Unfair? Perhaps but the benefit that Scotland has is that the law is clear. In England, there is a whole legal industry dedicated to challenging Wills. If there is financial pain, it is, mercifully, brief in that it does not rumble on in court for years. The emotional pain can remain, of course.

If you find yourself in this situation and wish consult me, as a  Solicitor, please telephone 01955 606060 or 01361  883222, speak to my Secretary  and a telephone appointment will be made for you.

 

Why making a Will or Power of Attorney is an unselfish act

Bruce de Wert

Bruce de Wert

In the same way that you don’t buy life insurance to benefit yourself, making a Will and Power of Attorney is an unselfish act that benefits your family.

Sadly, if you do not make a Will then you can leave a mess. That tends to be an emotional mess whilst the family sorts itself out or disputes arise but if you do not make a Power of Attorney it can also be an expensive mess as court action may well be required to make arrangements for your care.

Making them does not take long and they are file and forget. Once you have done it, you can breathe a sigh of relief and relax knowing that you have done the best you can for your family.

You can make one immediately –  just go to MyScottishWill and MyScottishAttorney or, should you wish to consult me, as a  Solicitor, please telephone 01955 606060  in Caithness and Sutherland or 01361  883222 for Duns, speak to my Secretary  and a telephone appointment will be made for you.

 

 

 

 

Disinherited daughter story does not apply in Scotland

Bruce de Wert cropped.and websizeI have just read the story, this morning, about the daughter who was disinherited and was able to claim on her mother’s estate. What is not made clear is that this only applies in England and Wales (not sure about Northern Ireland).

Scots can rest easy. They can still disinherit their children if they want to without their dirty washing being hung out for all to see in a courtroom.

Well, of course, it is never that easy. The main difference in Scotland is that whilst children have a claim (known as legal rights), this is expressed as a percentage of your estate and excludes any houses or land that you own. This very rarely, if at all, comes to court because it is very clear to everybody exactly what the entitlement is.

Even then, as I tell my clients, if you are keen to leave them as little as possible, turn your cash into property or give it away. That minimises the claim. On a number of occasions, my clients done just that.

Bruce de Wert

 

I am a solicitor in private practice both in the North of Scotland and in the Borders. I also have online websites where you can make Wills, Powers of attorney and even have a divorce.  I have appeared on the BBC and STV speaking about legal matters on a number of occasions.

 

 

Estate Agency in the Scottish Borders – a new challenge

Bruce de Wert

Bruce de Wert

As very experienced Estate Agent with 3 offices and 155 properties in my Estate Agency, Georgesons, in the Far North, it is a very unusual feeling to be the new kid on the block, as I am here in the Scottish Borders!

The Borders is, however, a very different market and it will be a challenge to build up the Smiths Grant Estate Agency. Having said that, giving clients a great experience counts the same, everywhere!

I’m very excited by the prospects and have a number of developments in mind. As a blogger, Facebook and Twitter user, these tools are just the start of engaging with purchasers.

Our new website, which is, naturally, optimised for both PC and mobile use, is up and running at www.SmithsGrant.co.uk.

The Facebook page is at www.Facebook.com/SmithsGrant. Please “like” for updates.

Follow @Smithsgrant to obtain Tweeted updates.

My aim is to satisfy lots of new clients. I look forward to the challenge.

Bruce de Wert

 

 

 

Are wills made outside Scotland valid in Scotland?

Bruce de Wert

Bruce de Wert

Wow!  That is a difficult question.  The answer is that it depends!

You know, sometimes things are just complicated. This is one of those occasions.

It depends upon: –

Where the will was made.

When the will was made.

What the circumstances of the will maker were, when the will was made.

What the present intentions of the will maker are, at the moment or, if dead, his or her intentions at the date of death.

If you look at my posts, you will see that, generally, I try to give a cogent answer to the question but this one is far too complicated.

The consequences of getting it wrong are too huge to contemplate trying to guide  you.

This is one occasion where I advise you to obtain legal advice on your particular circumstances or the particular circumstances of the Will maker, before  making decisions based on the Will.

Sorry about that!

Bruce de Wert

 

As well as my online Wills service at www.myscottishwill.co.uk, I am private practice  in Wick  (01955 606060) in the north of Scotland and in Duns  01361 883222 in the south of Scotland.  As well as standard physical appointments, I can take telephone or Skype appointments. Please phone for an appointment.

 

 

 

 

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