When a person dies, they leave behind property, assets and debts that need to be managed and finalised. This is referred to as a deceased person's 'estate'.
Where a valid will exists, the estate will usually be finalised by the executor named in the will.
If there is no valid will then the deceased's closest next of kin will usually be responsible for finalising the estate and may be appointed administrator of the estate.
The executor or administrator must make sure any debts are paid and that any remaining assets are distributed according to the deceased's wishes (where there is a will) or the laws of intestacy (where there is no will).
This is often an emotionally charged time for families, and disputes can result in some cases, which often leads to a division of family members.
Aberdeen Lawyers have expert lawyers trained in Wills, Probate and Estate law that can help executors or administrators navigate through the maze of complex laws and procedures needed to finalise an estate, minimising costs and leaving your family intact.
We can also assist certain people to challenge wills in circumstances where they have been left out by an estranged family member.
We can also draft family provision agreements, when all the beneficiaries under a will agree to a different division of assets then was provided for under the will.
Having a valid will in place, will mean that the assets you have worked your entire life to accumulate will be left to the right people. If a will is improperly prepared, it can be deemed to be invalid and will be disregarded. Protect your family and loved ones by investing in a properly prepared will.
POWER OF ATTORNEY
A power of attorney is a document authorising trusted person to take over your financial and/or medical affairs if you are mentally incapacitated, or too unwell to make your own decisions. It cannot operate while you are healthy unless this is what you want. An example may be if you are too ill to leave your home but need someone to access your bank accounts to pay bills.
DEED OF FAMILY ARRANGEMENTS
Even if there is a will in place, if all beneficiaries agree that the will was unfair or that they would prefer a different distribution, they can agree on a different distribution through a deed of family arrangement.
Dealing with the procedures and paperwork that is required to transfer assets from a deceased’s estate to the beneficiaries is a complex minefield, made more difficult by grief and family disagreements. Aberdeen Lawyers can attend to all probate matters on your behalf so that the process is handled correctly and reduces the potential for stress and conflict.
Estate planning allows you to prepare for what happens to your estate when you pass away. If you own anything of value or if you have dependents who need to be cared for if you were to pass unexpectedly, you should have an estate plan. Estate planning is particularly important for business owners or people who have assets other than real estate in their names.
WILL CHALLENGES (PART IV)
If you have been unfairly left out of a will for which you should have received an entitlement, Aberdeen Lawyers can help you challenge the terms of that will. The legal costs for such a challenge may in many cases be paid from the estate itself.
If your partner has died and you held assets with them jointly, we can help you transfer those assets into your name smoothly and relatively inexpensively.
Can I afford it?
We appreciate that Wills & Probate cases can take a while to resolve. The costs can escalate unexpectedly, which is why at the commencement of a case, we provide you with the likely estimate of costs and guide you on your best way of minimising these costs.
Read about our client’s experiences.
We focus on working together with our clients, so that the result is one we are both happy with.
Request a callback