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What Are Prior Rights?

0141 620 0800 Existing Clients call: 0141 620 0800

At Claphams, we are experts in succession law and have advised families in Clarkston, Newton Mearns, Giffnock, Netherlee and the surrounding areas in Glasgow for decades. Our highly experienced team are experts in dealing with executry and estate management.  We can guide you through the process with sensitivity and efficiency.

We know that legal processes – such as winding up an estate – can often feel daunting.  There can be a lot of legal terminology and jargon which is difficult for an individual to understand fully.  This is why it is important that you have a lawyer you can trust to guide you through the process.  At Claphams, we pride ourselves on our ability to explain complex legal concepts in a simple manner.  Below we explain what the term 'prior rights' means in Scots succession law.  If you have any questions about this, or any other matter relating to the administration of an estate, get in touch.  Our dedicated, approachable team are on hand to guide you through this difficult time.

Prior Rights

If someone has died without a Will, a system known as 'prior rights' applies.  This means that the surviving spouse or civil partner is entitled to a share in the estate. 

Generally, this gives the surviving spouse the right to the house they shared with the deceased (subject to certain conditions).  If the deceased owned the house or a share of the house and used it as their main residence, this can be claimed by the surviving spouse or civil partner through prior rights up to a value of £473,000.

The surviving spouse or civil partner is also entitled to claim the furniture in this house, which was the deceased's main residence up to a particular value – currently £29,000. 

Finally, the surviving spouse or civil partner will also be entitled to a cash sum, the value of which will vary depending on whether there were surviving children.  If there are children, they can claim £50,000, and if there are no children, the surviving spouse or civil partner can claim £89,000.

Prior rights are the first claim on an estate and apply before legal rights.

It can be challenging to understand in the abstract how this system would operate.  If you have any queries about prior rights in relation to an estate you are involved with, please get in touch and one of our team can advise you on your particular circumstances.

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

Don't hesitate to get in touch if you'd like to discuss your situation or if you have any questions about prior rights.  Contact us today on 0141 620 0800 or fill out our online enquiry form if you require our assistance.

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