‘A Practical Guide to Legal Rights in Scotland’ by Sarah-Jane Macdonald

Paperback: 978-1-914608-13-1
Publication due: January 2022
Price: TBA


The concept of ‘Legal rights’ is at its heart seemingly simple, unique to the law of Scotland in that it gives certain parties a fixed entitlement to a deceased’s estate. Regardless of how straightforward it seems, legal rights is a veritable minefield in practice with numerous issues that can crop up either at the time of advising or later.

This book highlights various quirks that come up in practice, and aims to act as a roadmap to help practitioners navigate through those proverbial mines. Whilst it is aimed at those who may have less experience in dealing with legal rights in practice, it is also designed to be a checklist even for experienced practitioners to act as a reminder of keys dates, tax implications and principles.

It will also highlight some of the greyer areas of legal rights where there is little or inconsistent judicial authority and where particular attention should be given by agents when advising on these matters.

The book will cover a variety of issues from who is entitled to make a claim, how the net moveable estate is ascertained, when heritable property may be moveable, the interaction with trusts and taxes, forfeiture and will provide practical suggestions where legal rights are being claimed in a taxable or a contentious estate.


Sarah-Jane, “SJ” as she’s known to many in the profession, is a private client Associate at Gillespie Macandrew. She advises on all aspects of Private Client law, but has a particular interest in contentious trusts and estates and has practical experience in negotiation and mediation to reach resolutions for her clients.

She has been recognised as a “Key Lawyer” by Legal 500 2020 for both ‘Personal Tax, Trusts & Executries’ and ‘Contentious Trusts & Probate’. She is a full member of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP), and is a member of the STEP Scotland Branch Committee, having previously won a STEP Worldwide Excellence Award and gained her STEP Diploma and a STEP Advanced Certificate in Trust Disputes, both with distinction.