|Immovable Property Rule to Be Removed from Scottish Succession Law|
The traditional distinction between movable and immovable property in Scottish succession law is to be abolished.
An intestate’s spouse or civil partner should inherit the first GBP300,000 of the estate, the remainder to be shared equally with the deceased’s children and grandchildren. It would also provide dependent children with some protection from being disinherited by a will; however adult offspring could be disinherited with no right of challenge. Cohabitants would be given the right to apply to court for a proportion of the estate value, rather than it going automatically to an estranged spouse.
The second phase of reform would remove the distinction between movable and immovable property. This change was recommended by the Commission as long ago as 1990, though it was never implemented. Part of the reform is to ensure that all offspring are treated equally when it comes to inheriting land.
The change is being put forward as one aspect of the government’s long-term plans for land reform. A Land Reform Bill will also be introduced within the current parliamentary term, to make ownership of large estates more transparent and to provide for government intervention against landowners who have local monopolies.
The opinions expressed do not constitute investment advice and specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
Published on our website on Nov.28, 2014