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The Scottish Government finally responded to its 2015 consultation on the Law of Succession.

The 2015 consultation sought views on many aspects but controversially, the idea of removing the distinction between heritable and moveable estate under Legal Rights. At present, land and buildings can be left to whomever in a Will. A spouse and/or child only have a claim to a certain proportion over your moveable estate (being cash, savings, interest in a partnership, stock, for example). This distinction does not exist in other countries but the concern for Scotland was that meeting Legal Rights claims from someone’s entire estate would render some family farms unviable and would require parts of the farm to be sold. It was recognised that this would have a wider negative impact on the rural economy as a whole. The paper explored options for meeting claims by instalments or borrowing but responses to the paper argued that neither option was feasible.

Whilst the response does not give us many answers as to what the government might introduce in any future bill, it did recognise that there was significant support for Testamentary freedom and the ability to disinherit others. If you have concerns about who may inherit or not inherit from your estate, please speak with one of our trusted Private Client Advisors.

 

Debbie Dunlop

13/11/18

Contact Debbie for more information on dking@mckinstry.co.uk.

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