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Dallas McMillan's Glasgow Lawyers' Blog

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How do the COVID-19 measures affect my estate planning?

Estate planning allows you to get ahead of your future and ensure all the appropriate documentation that divides your estate is in line with your wishes. Having a well-thought out plan will not only protect you should you lose mental capacity, but it will also support your family and causes close to your heart on your death.

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The function of a Power of Attorney in the coronavirus pandemic

Making decisions is part of everyday life; from where we go when we step out the front door to who comes to visit us in our homes. You rarely consider a time where these choices will be made for you, and yet, the measures implemented as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis have left us all incapable of planning our next move.

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The importance of sorting your Will in the times of coronavirus

According to the Law Society, the number of people looking to write new Wills in the UK has risen by at least 30 per cent following the outbreak of coronavirus. Nevertheless, the process of creating and amending Wills relies heavily on face-to-face interaction, which makes the government measures to stay at home and self-isolate more challenging.

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Who can witness my Will with social distancing measures in place?

We as a nation have entered into uncharted territory as a result of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. With our daily office trips and weekend activities stripped from our usual routine, we have been put in a state of unease about what we can and cannot do. 

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Covid-19 and the Importance of Planning for the Future

The ongoing pandemic has served as a reminder of the importance of planning for the future and having your affairs in order. The lockdown has also unfortunately highlighted the practical benefits of parents or older relatives having a Power of Attorney. We will explore below some of the many reasons why you should consider setting up both a Will and Power of Attorney.

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The main differences between Power of Attorney and a Will

A Power of Attorney (“PoA”) is a formal document in which you give authority to someone such as a family member or close friend to make decisions for you (typically financial matters and ‘welfare’ matters such as medical treatment and long-term care during your lifetime), if you become incapable of looking after your own affairs.

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Residential Nil Rate Band (RNRB) - Qualifying Amount Rises

For those who follow the blogs of myself and my colleagues at Dallas McMillan, you will be aware that back in 2017 a new Inheritance Tax Nil Rate Band, called the Residential Nil Rate Band (RNRB), was introduced to offset against the Inheritance Tax (IHT) bill being incurred by a rising number of estates on death, fuelled to a significant extent by home ownership and increased house prices.

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Succession in Scotland following the Succession (Scotland) Act 2016

The Succession (Scotland) Act 2016, which came into full effect in November 2016, has introduced a number of important changes to Succession law in Scotland. The Act marks the first major change to this area of law since the Succession (Scotland) Act 1964.

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Dementia Awareness Week Scotland - Powers of Attorney

Given that we are in the midst of Dementia Awareness Week Scotland, which runs from 29th May until the 4th of June 2017, it seems a good time to discuss Powers of Attorney and to reflect on the benefits of having a valid Power of Attorney in place.

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Planning Ahead to Help Your Loved Ones

Dying Matters Week took place from 14th – 20th May this year, and to mark the occasion Royal London published new research that highlights the top five tasks people should carry out now to help their loved ones after they pass away. 

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Research Reveals Substantial Inheritance Expectations

New research by Canada Life has found that as many as one in 25 people in the UK have inheritance expectations amounting to at least £1 million. For one in 50 people, these expectations exceed £5 million. 

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Reasons for Making a Will

Reading an article the other day unexpectedly gave me some inspiration for this blog.  It got me thinking about the reasons for making a Will.  We all know the usual reasons: to leave your assets and items of sentimental value to your beneficiaries.  However, there can be many other reasons.

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Thinking about moving?

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Recent Amendments to ADS: The Land and Building Transaction Tax (Additional Amount - Second Homes Main Residence Relief) (Scotland) Order 2017

As announced by Revenue Scotland this week, the Land and Building Transaction Tax (Additional Amount – Second Homes Main Residence Relief) (Scotland) Order 2017 came into effect on 30 June 2017.  The new Order acts as an amendment to the existing Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS) rules which concerns replacing main residences and the position regarding family units as detailed in Schedule 2A of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (Scotland) Act 2013. The amendment incorporates Paragraphs 8A and 9A in to the 2013 Act and will apply to all contracts entered into on or after 20 May 2017 and transactions completed on or after 30 June 2017.

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Landlord Register Upgraded

Registration for landlords in the private rented sector is compulsory and, although the register of landlords has been online since 2006, the system has now been upgraded. This upgrade should make it more straightforward for landlords to apply and to renew their registration, for anyone to search the public register of landlords and for local authorities to maintain the register in their area.

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Preparing for the loss of buy-to-let tax relief

Time is quickly running out for buy-to-let landlords currently claiming income tax relief on mortgage interest payments. From the 6th April 2017, residential landlords will face new restrictions for income tax relief for financing costs for residential properties. Until now, individuals buying property to let are able to claim relief on their mortgage interest payments at their marginal rate of tax. For example, individuals paying the basic rate of tax get 20% tax relief, whereas those within a higher tax bracket can claim up to 45%.

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Survivorship Clauses

A survivorship clause is something which you can put in your title deeds which provides that on the death of the first proprietor, the surviving proprietor, often  a spouse or a civil partner, will automatically inherit the predeceasing proprietor’s interest in the property.

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Improved Property Market Across Scotland

Registers of Scotland  latest statistics relating to the residential property market shows substantial increases in the  market which seems to reflect more signs of recovery.

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Solicitor can seek power to execute will on behalf of incapax Adult

A Sheriff Principal has recently ruled that courts can grant authorisation to a solicitor to execute a will on behalf of an adult with incapacity where there is sufficient evidence that the Adult had capacity when the testamentary writing was drafted.

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