I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the readers a very happy and healthy new year. It is that time of year when I get on my soap box and remind you all to make sure that your wills are up to date or to make a will if that is something you have been putting off. A will is really important because it lets your family and friends know who you want to look after your estate after your death (your executors); how you want your monies and property to be distributed; how you want your personal items to be dealt with; your funeral arrangements; and who you would like to look after your pets and your children. In the event of your death your family and friends will really appreciate that you have organised your affairs and that your wishes are being carried out. A will is not just for the rich it is for all of us.

Still over 50% of the population do not have a will. At Dixon Stewart you can have a free appointment to chat with us about the need to make a will or the need to update your will. At that appointment we will advise you of how best to proceed and of the cost of proceeding before moving forward. We are happy to see you in your home if you would prefer that.

You should also consider making lasting powers of attorney in relation to your property and financial affairs and in relation to your health and welfare. A lasting power of attorney in relation to your property and financial affairs enables people you chose (your attorneys) to look after your property and financial affairs whilst you are alive in the event of you being unable to look after them yourself or in the event of you deciding that you want your attorneys to assist you.

A lasting power of attorney in relation to your health and welfare enables your attorneys to make decisions about your health and welfare in the future if you lose mental capacity. If you lose mental capacity then you are giving your attorneys permission to speak on your behalf about what would be best for your health and welfare in the future.

You can place restrictions in your lasting powers of attorney if you want to restrict your attorneys in any way. You can also in the lasting powers of attorney give your attorneys guidance as to how you would like them to act in the event of certain situations arising.

At Dixon Stewart we have a free booklet explaining more about lasting powers of attorney and if you would like a copy then please do telephone or e mail and let us know.

At Dixon Stewart we have a really busy property department and if you are thinking of moving home in the new year you may want to talk to us before putting your home on the market in order to make sure that you have all the documentation that your buyer will need before you accept an offer to sell your home. In this way you can avoid unnecessary and stressful delays. We can also provide you with a free quotation for your sale and any purchase so that you can budget correctly before proceeding.

If we can help you with any of the above or any other legal matters then please e mail or telephone Helen Stewart on 01425 621515 or call into one of our offices and make an appointment