In Scotland, a parent's will cannot completely disinherit their children. Rooted in moral and societal considerations, Scottish law ensures that children of a deceased parent have a fundamental level of protection. Even if a child isn't explicitly named as a beneficiary in the parent's will, they possess the legal right to claim a share of the estate. This right takes precedence over the will's provisions and is known as the child's entitlement to Legal Rights.
Our dedicated team of private client solicitors is here to assist you in making a Legal Rights claim in Scotland. Whether you require help with wills, estate planning, power of attorney, or executry services, we're committed to providing personalized legal guidance.
Even if a child has been omitted from a parent's will, they can still make a Legal Rights claim on the parent's estate. The value of such claims can be substantial, depending on the estate's size. Importantly, these rights endure for an extended period - a child has 20 years from the parent's date of death to assert or discharge their legal rights, regardless of their age. If the child is a minor at the time of death, the time limit begins only when they reach 18 years of age.
Under Scottish law, a child's Legal Rights claim equals one-third of the global net moveable estate, shared equally among siblings if a surviving spouse or civil partner exists. In cases without a surviving spouse or civil partner, the entitlement becomes one-half of the global net moveable estate.
The moveable estate encompasses all of the deceased's assets, excluding land and buildings. Surviving spouses or civil partners can also make Legal Rights claims, entitling them to a one-third share of the net moveable estate.
Legal Rights of children and surviving spouses or civil partners, along with their prior rights on intestacy, must either be formally claimed or discharged. Executors are responsible for properly inquiring about, locating, and informing all children and surviving spouses or civil partners about their right to make Legal Rights claims. Winding up an estate should not occur until these rights are considered.
If you believe you're entitled to Legal Rights from a deceased parent's estate, it's advisable to inquire about your potential claim. Executors might have set aside funds to address such claims, even if many years have passed. An insurance policy, known as a Bond of Caution, could also cover your claim if the executor's funds are insufficient.
When you make a Legal Rights claim, you have the right to receive a breakdown of the net estate's total value. Deductions, such as estate management expenses, fees, funeral costs, and inheritance tax, are subtracted before calculating your Legal Rights share.
Calculating Legal Rights can be intricate. For instance, if a parent gifted assets to one child during their lifetime, those gifts are factored back into the estate during Legal Rights calculations to ensure equitable distribution. Legal Rights claims are sizeable and sometimes complex, contingent on the estate's value.
Our reliable private client solicitors can provide expert legal advice, verify your share's accurate calculation, and guide you through your Legal Rights claim. We offer comprehensive counsel on wills, estate administration, powers of attorney, guardianships, and more. Initial consultations are available via telephone or video technology.
Our team of experienced private client lawyers is equipped to advise you on your unique circumstances. We're here to provide tailored guidance and support for your Legal Rights claim and estate planning needs.