Latest News & Blogs

August 27, 2018
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I’m too young to make a Power of Attorney

John made a Power of Attorney when he was in his late thirties. At the time, he thought he was too young. He believed making a Power of Attorney was something only older people did in case they had to go into care or needed someone to look after their financial affairs. His wife, Jill, always the cautious one, had gone on and on about how he needed a Power of Attorney.  Jill wanted to make sure she or someone else could look after John’s affairs for him if he was unable to do that – at least until he recovered and could deal with them himself again. John owned his own business and travelled a lot to meet customers. One January night he was coming home from a customer visit. It was late and another driver skidded on black ice and hit John’s car head on. John and the […]
August 27, 2018
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No Will, No Problem, Right?

Are you one of the 61% in Scotland who haven’t yet made a Will? Of you are then you might want to read this article to find out what you’re letting your loved ones in for when you pass away. Many people don’t think that they need bother making a Will because they assume everything in their estate will be left to their nearest and dearest. On the face of it, that might seem right, but you cannot always take that for granted and, as everyone’s personal circumstances are different, you take a risk in testing that assumption. Let’s look at how the situation might play out. If you are married and you don’t have a Will, then it is likely that your estate will go to your spouse (and if you have children, they, too, have rights to share in your estate). These same rules apply to Civil Partnership […]
June 4, 2018
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Care for elderly

Care for elderly It is something worth considering and careful planning ahead. There are various care arrangements that can be put in place for you, ranging from arranging help in your own home or moving them to an assisted accommodation such as sheltered housing or residential care. More often than not a financial help from the local authority will be required in relation to the following: accommodation costs personal care costs nursing care costs. The eligibility to receive financial support will depend on your personal circumstances and what capital you have. Let’s look at the above specified categories of costs in turn.   Accommodation costs Your local authority will carry out an assessment to ensure that you can keep some money for your personal use. Most of your income (including pensions and capital) will be taken into account when deciding what you should pay. If you have capital of more […]
March 28, 2018
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New PRT – Landlords Guide

The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 commenced on 1 December 2017 and introduced the ‘private residential tenancy’. Its purpose is to improve security, stability and predictability for tenants and provide safeguards for landlords, lenders and investors. The new tenancy will be open-ended and will last until a tenant wishes to leave the let property or a landlord uses one (or more) of 18 grounds for eviction. Improvements for landlords include: no more confusing pre-tenancy notices, such as the AT5 where a tenant is in rent arrears, a landlord can refer a case for repossession more quickly a Scottish Government ‘model private residential tenancy agreement’, which includes standardised mandatory and discretionary tenancy terms a digital version of the Scottish Government ‘model private residential tenancy agreement’, an online tool that can be edited, allowing landlords to easily put together and send out a tenancy agreement suitable for their specific property one simple notice when […]
March 28, 2018
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New PRT – Tenants Guide

The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 commenced on 1 December 2017 and introduced the new ‘private residential tenancy’. Its purpose is to improve security, stability and predictability for you as a tenant and provide safeguards for landlords, lenders and investors. The tenancy will be open-ended and will last until you wish to leave the let property or your landlord uses one (or more) of 18 grounds for eviction. Improvements for tenants include: more security – it’s an open-ended tenancy so your landlord can’t just ask you to leave because you’ve been in the property for a set length of time protection from frequent rent increases – your rent can’t go up more than once a year and you must get at least three months’ notice of any increase any rent increase can be referred to a rent officer, who can decide if they’re fair if you’ve lived in a property for more […]

TAX RELIEF FOR FIRST-TIME BUYERS

The abolition of SDLT for first -time buyers in England and Wales was a welcome Budget announcement. From 22 November 2017, first-time buyers will be relieved from SDLT on the first 300k paid for their property, so long as the value of the property does not exceed 500k. The measure is expected to benefit 95% of first-time buyers saving them an average of £1660 each.

In a similar move, the Scottish Government announced in it’s budget that it will be introducing LBTT relief on the first 175k paid by first-time buyers in Scotland.

Although considerably less than the SDLT relief, this is expected to cover most properties in Scotland, and will exclude 80% of first-time buyers from LBTT entirely. Additionally, as there is no upper limit on the value of the property, the tax paid by all first-time buyers will be reduced.