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What Are Legal Rights?

  • The Law Society of Scotland

At Claphams, we are experts in succession law.  We know how emotional and daunting it can be when someone dies -   there is a heavy administrative burden on their family and friends.  It can be difficult to understand, even where there is a Will, how an estate will be distributed.  For an Executor of an estate, it can seem overwhelming.

We pride ourselves at Claphams on our ability to explain complicated legal matters clearly.  Our highly experienced team are experts in dealing with executry and estate management.  We can guide you through the process – from registering the death to distributing the estate – with sensitivity and efficiency.

Below we outline one of the key legal concepts in succession law – legal rights. It is important that you understand these terms if you are dealing with an estate and you should consult a solicitor. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team who are always happy to assist. Contact us on 0141 620 0800 or complete our online contact form.

Legal Rights

In Scots law, it is not possible to disinherit your spouse, civil partner or children, and because you cannot disinherit your children it is also not possible to disinherit grandchildren.  This is because of a concept known as 'legal rights'. Legal rights apply regardless of whether someone has died with or without a Will.  No matter what the Will states, legal rights will apply.  Of course, a child may, for example, choose not to claim their legal rights, but it is important to note that they do have these rights even if they are estranged from their deceased parent.

Legal rights entitle a surviving spouse, civil partner or children to a share of the deceased’s net moveable estate.  These rights only apply to moveable property (not houses, for example).  Moveable property includes money in bank accounts, stocks and shares and possessions like jewellery.  

The share varies depending on whether there is a surviving spouse/civil partner and also children.  If there is a surviving spouse or civil partner, then they are entitled to one-third of the moveable estate if there are children.  If there are no children, the spouse or civil partner is entitled to one half.

Children (as a collective) will be entitled to a third of the estate if there is a living spouse or civil partner and one half if there is no surviving spouse or civil partner.

Expert Executry Solicitors Clarkston, Newton Mearns, Giffnock, Netherlee, Eaglesham, Carmunnock, Stewarton & Southside Glasgow

Our highly experienced team have helped many clients in Clarkston, Newton Mearns, Netherlee, Giffnock, East Kilbride and the greater Glasgow area deal with the administration of an estate. If you have any questions concerning legal rights, do not hesitate to get in touch. Contact us today on 0141 620 0800 or fill out our online enquiry form if you require our assistance.

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Please note we are a firm of Scottish Solicitors helping clients across Scotland and cannot help you if you are based in England.