A law firm for life

The ‘sandwich generation’ was a term coined by a social worker in the early 80s to describe women in their 30s and 40s who were sandwiched between taking care of their children and caring for elderly parents.

A lot has changed since the 80s, and the term is now more commonly used to describe adults who are finding themselves becoming more and more responsible for their ageing parents and, at the same time, still having to look after or financially help their adult children. Debbie Dunlop considers some common issues the sandwich generation encounter when dealing with their own and their family’s personal affairs.

Property taxes

If you are thinking of purchasing a second property or taking out a mortgage to help your child buy a property, the title to the property will be in your name and you may be liable to pay an additional 4% tax on the purchase price. This is a new tax brought in by the Scottish Government called the Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS) and applies in almost every circumstance when someone purchases a second property unless you are selling or replacing your main residence at the same time.

This could also catch out your own children or you if you or your parents are thinking of transferring property down to the next generation now. If you were to transfer your house to a child who does not yet own their own house, they would have to pay the 4% tax when they do buy their first main residence.

Powers of Attorney

As parents get older, they start to rely on their children for a number of things and whilst you may be able to do most things for them now, if a parent loses mental capacity without having a power of attorney in place, you may find that you are unable to access their bank account, pay bills or even make decisions about where mum or dad should live. Once a person has lost capacity they can no longer appoint someone as their Attorney. The only alternative is to raise a court action to have a guardian appointed which can end up costing thousands of pounds.

If decisions need to be made about the care your parent needs or where they should reside, and there is no power of attorney in place, you may find yourself unable to give instructions to health care professionals. Under legislation, the social work department has the power to make certain decisions when someone has lost capacity and there is no attorney.

It is worth asking your parents if they have one in place and if not, encouraging them to seek advice about putting one in place.

Wills review and Deeds of Variation

If you have a parent who has lost or is losing capacity, it is worth encouraging your other parent to review the terms of their own Will. The Will they put in place years ago leaving everything to their spouse may no longer be what they would like to happen to their estate.

Similarly, on the death of the first parent, it is worth carrying out a financial review of your surviving parent’s affairs. They may not need to inherit everything from their spouses’ estate and may want to redirect their inheritance.

The law, like society, has changed since the 80s and it is always worth reviewing what not only you have in place, but also your loved ones. Too many clients leave it until it is too late.

At The McKinstry Company, we have several specialists who can advise you and prepare the legal documents tailor-made to your personal circumstances, ensuring that your loved ones are not put through additional stress and anxiety at what is a very sad time.

Contact The McKinstry Company Estate Administration Solicitors in Ayrshire & Dumfries and Galloway

If you would like to discuss a review of your family’s affairs. please contact Debbie Dunlop on 01465 713 118 or email debbie@mckinstry.co.uk

Join the McKinstry family
Some of our happy clients
  • The service was superb.  Kirsty and team were extremely helpful.

    Mr and Mrs R, Ayr
  • First class service from start till finish. Always there to give help and advice.

    Mr R, Ayr
  • Great service and advice from a good professional company.

    Mr R, Kilmarnock
  • Excellent, very friendly and professional. I will be using you for all my property transactions in the future!

    Mrs S, Godstone
  • My case was handled sensitively and smoothly.

    Mr N, Ayr
  • Everyone concerned in the sale of our property was very efficient and kept us up to date with all happenings.

    D Ferguy, Cookstown
  • Great service.  Would recommend you to others.

    Mr S, Kirkmichael
  • Communication was always available when required. Made me feel confident throughout the process.

    Mr L, Ayr
  • Always replied or phoned back when I needed my questions answered.

    Miss McF, Patna
  • A very prompt and friendly service, a pleasure to deal with.

    Mr R, Aberdeen
  • Robert was very supportive.

    M Carruthers, Kilmarnock.
  • Great, Rebecca was very pleasant to deal with and went out of her way to help with our case

    S Everett, Kilbarchan
  • The solicitor / paralegal I was dealing with was very professional and performed to a high standard. I was very impressed.

    B Ferguson, Methil
  • Local firm, word of mouth good reports.

    K Rooney, Glasgow
  • All queries were dealt with in a prompt and professional manner and I was kept informed of progress as events developed. Thank you very much for making a difficult situation much easier to deal with.

    Mrs McG, Ayr
  • Communication via telephone and email was regular, prompt and comprehensive. All queries and questions were answered with no delays or problems. My experience with the McKinstry Company was pleasant and smooth.

    Mr McK, Ayr
  • My family and I received excellent service from everyone with whom we had contact. The service was of the highest standard and, as I have in the past, I will continue to recommend the company to anyone seeking legal assistance.

    Mrs S, Ayr
  • All emails and calls were dealt with promptly. Very impressed. Very very pleased with service.

    Mr and Mrs H, Hull
  • I enjoy the friendly atmosphere. Very professional.

    Mrs A, Ayr
  • Mr Honeyman was very professional and knowledgeable which made us feel reassured. Very happy with the service and if I needed a solicitor again I would get in touch.

    Mr B, Ardrossan
  • Prompt quick efficient communication.

    Mrs K, Cumnock
  • Ease of making appointments and timescale for completion of business all good.

    Mr & Mrs T, Maybole
  • Gave reassurance and comfort at a stressful time. I felt ten times better after our first meeting and support provided ultimately exceeded my desired outcome.

    Mr N, Saltcoats
  • The supportive way that the advice was provided along with the willingness to fit appointments in with our requirements

    Mr R, Ayr
  • The whole process was handled with upmost professionalism throughout.

    Mr McN, Kilwinning