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Gibson Kerr Solicitors Blog

Latest legal news on estate planning, including wills, trusts, executries, powers of attorney, and family law from our Edinburgh & Glasgow solicitors. For legal advice, contact our lawyers today.

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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in wills and probate

Beneficiary charged with murder

Posted by on in Wills

An American probate judge has ruled that a man accused of the murder of his mother and two of her friends, cannot inherit anything from her estate until the case has been heard, reports the Hartford Courant. 


The firm highlights that less than half of all UK adults have made a will and says that this so-called "will apathy" could have catastrophic effects for families throughout the country – as it means that they will not know whether they will receive the full inheritance they may have been expecting and this could create unnecessary feuds over money.

Partner Scott Rasmusen, who provides family law advice in areas such as wills, powers of attorney and executries, said: "The economy is still fairly flat and we are seeing more and more cuts being made to the public sector, which is leading more people to be fearful over their jobs and finances.

To identify the policy, Gibson Kerr used the Landmark Financial Asset Search (FAS) - a service that assists probate lawyers to identify potentially lost or forgotten financial assets that should be distributed as part of the administration of an estate. Scott Rasmusen, partner at Gibson Kerr, said that the policy could potentially have remained unknown and unclaimed if the FAS results had not unearthed it - and added that many people in Scotland also risked missing out on similar inheritances, because the assets are not included in their owners' wills.

Caring for Elderly Parents

Posted by on in Getting Older

For the carer, it can be emotionally-draining, stressful, and ultimately traumatic, especially if their parent or elderly relative becomes incapable through dementia or other age-related conditions. As if that wasn't enough to cope with, there is the bureaucratic nightmare of dealing with banks, pensions, insurance companies, tax offices, social workers, medical professionals, council finance departments and care homes. 

Many people are simply not prepared for navigating their way through the complex jungle of rules and procedures on top of the anguish involved.

Scott Rasmusen, who specialises in powers of attorney, executries and wills for his Edinburgh-based law firm Gibson Kerr, says one of the first steps is to set up a power of attorney document . . . in time.

Gibson Kerr, which has more than 100 years experience in the Capital, has been working with English inheritance research firm Celtic Research who specialise in searching for the rightful heirs to fortunes left by people who did not make wills before their deaths.

Edinburgh-based family law firm Gibson Kerr is recommending families to secure control over aging relatives' affairs now to make sure they can help them if they become ill in their final years.With Scotland's rising elderly population, planning for older life – and planning for elderly dependents - has never been more important.

The firm says that these bargain-hunters are actually leaving their families and loved ones in danger of not receiving their rightful inheritances – as online or DIY wills can be poorly written and, in some cases, are not legally-binding contracts.

Scott Rasmusen, Partner at Gibson Kerr, said that it was vital that people get suitable legal advice regarding the process of making or changing a will in order to safeguard their families and loved ones – rather than being tempted by the "cheap" DIY option.

There are many ways in which we can protect our loved ones as they get older. This blog will explore some of the ways you can make provision for parents and grandparents futures. Including powers of attorney and equity release....

1. Grant Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a document signed when you are well but perhaps envisage a time when you will not be able to manage your own affairs. It gives legal authority to another person to deal with aspects of the granter's business such as finances, property or personal welfare.

Credit Crunch Wills

Posted by on in Wills

Scottish legal firm Gibson Kerr believes that many charities across the country are likely to receive less money from legacies over the coming years - as more people in Scotland choose to dramatically cut down donations after reassessing their personal wealth in the wake of the economic downturn.

The firm says that with investments, such as share portfolios, savings and property, falling in value, many people will choose to change their wills to ensure family members are not left out of pocket in favour of charities. Edinburgh-based Gibson Kerr believes that many charities that rely on vital funding from donations left in wills could be seriously hindered in the future – as more and more legacy donations are reduced in people's wills.