‘A Practical Guide to Legal Rights in Scotland’ by Sarah-Jane Macdonald
Publication due: January 2022
The concept of ‘legal rights’ is at its heart seemingly simple; giving certain parties a fixed entitlement to a deceased’s estate. Regardless of how straightforward it seems, in practice, legal rights are a veritable minefield. This book is intended to act as a roadmap to help practitioners navigate through those proverbial mines.
This practical guide is designed to collate the key principles, as well as highlight some of the quirks or greyer areas where there is little or inconsistent judicial authority.
Legal rights issues can broadly be split into three pillars, namely “who” is entitled, “what” they are entitled to and “how” legal rights are dealt with. This book will deal with each in turn, pinpointing important principles and issues, whilst providing practical solutions.
The “who” chapters will deal with issues around modern families, minor, missing or incapax beneficiaries and duties to notify. It will then consider how the net moveable estate is ascertained, when heritable property may be moveable, when gifts may be taken into account, and what deductions are to be made. Finally, it will consider how legal rights are dealt with, including issues of forfeiture, collation, interest, the interaction with various taxes, and what planning may be undertaken to potentially mitigate such an entitlement.
Whilst it is aimed at those who may have less experience in dealing with all the complexities legal rights have to offer in practice, it is also designed to be a checklist for even the most experienced practitioners.
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