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 Estate planning lawyers

Estate planning lawyers

Our estate planning solicitors are here to help protect your wealth by structuring the assets in your estate to minimise inheritance tax and provide for your loved ones.


Estate planning solutions to protect your wealth

When you have worked hard throughout your life to acquire personal assets, it is important to plan how best to keep and manage your property and financial affairs in later life and ultimately protect it for your family.

Nearly everyone has estate and assets, no matter how large or modest, that they would like to protect and pass on to future generations. Estate planning to protect your assets can help to efficiently manage your estate and avoid threats including:

Effective estate planning can involve the use of fairly complex tools, such as trusts. Other planning vehicles, like gift making, can be simple and straightforward. An up to date Will might be all that is required, or a Power of Attorney.

We can offer straightforward, practical advice tailored to suit your particular circumstances and can, for example, help calculate what your Inheritance tax liability might be and work with you to produce a bespoke plan to help reduce your tax exposure.


Common questions about estate planning

What is estate planning?


Simply put, estate planning allows you to prepare your finances so that your assets are protected for your loved ones after you die. Effective estate planning can affect the amount of inheritance tax due on your estate.

Estate planning is vital for managing your assets, including property, money, and wealth, ensuring distribution according to your wishes. It involves legal documents like appointing executors and establishing trusts, crucial for beneficiaries.

In Scotland, it’s key for inheritance tax planning. Understanding the inheritance tax threshold and residence nil rate band helps reduce the inheritance tax bill. Strategies like lifetime trusts and making outright gifts within the seven-year rule can be tax-efficient, potentially reducing inheritance tax liability.

Our specialist estate planning team has extensive experience advising on complex estates, particularly for large estates or those with international assets. This includes aligning your estate plan with life events and individual circumstances, ensuring asset protection and tax efficiency for beneficiaries.

What is the difference between making a Will and estate planning?


A Will is just one tool used by our specialist lawyers as part of effective estate planning. For some people an up to date Will may be enough, but for many people a Will is only the starting point.

Making a Will

This legal document dictates the distribution of assets after death, including property, money, and belongings. In Scotland, a Will ensures assets are distributed per the individual’s wishes, specifying beneficiaries and appointing executors.

Estate Planning

This broader strategy encompasses managing an entire estate, both during life and posthumously. It involves inheritance tax planning to potentially reduce the inheritance tax bill, considering the inheritance tax threshold. Estate planning may include setting up trusts or lifetime trusts, adhering to the seven-year rule for tax purposes.

While a Will is a key part of estate planning, estate planning is more comprehensive, focusing on tax-efficient ways to manage and transfer assets, including international assets, and ensuring asset protection. Estate planning in Scotland requires understanding complex tax laws and often involves bespoke plans tailored to individual circumstances. For married couples or civil partners, estate planning is crucial for efficiently transferring the family home and assets to the next generation.

What are the rules of intestacy?


If you die without leaving a Will, which is known as intestacy, then after your debts and liabilities are all paid your estate will be distributed in a particular order:

Your spouse or civil partner will be entitled to “Prior Rights”. They will inherit your interest in the house, but only if they are ordinarily resident there, up to a value of £473,000; furniture up to a value of £29,000 and an entitlement to £50,000 cash (if you have children) or £89,000 if you die leaving no children. Should you be separated from your spouse or civil partner they will still be entitled to these rights although they won’t get your interest in your home if they have not been living there.

If there is any estate left after Prior Rights, your spouse/civil partner and children, if any, are entitled to Legal Rights. If you have children, it will mean that your spouse/civil partner will be entitled to a further one-third of your moveable estate or one-half of your moveable estate if you die leaving no children. Your children would also be entitled to a one-third share of your moveable estate if you left a spouse or civil partner and equally, a one-half share if you had no spouse or civil partner.

The remainder of your estate would then be distributed in accordance with a hierarchy set out by the Succession (Scotland) Act where your parents and/or siblings may be entitled to a share of your estate.


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Get in touch

Call us for free on 0330 159 5555 or complete our online form below to submit your enquiry or arrange a call back.

Speak to us today on 0330 159 5555

Get in touch


Get in touch

Call us for free on 0330 159 5555 or complete our online form below to submit your enquiry or arrange a call back.