HM Insights

Legal Insights & Industry Updates

Life, business and the law

The law never stands still, and the way it applies to you and your organisation is constantly evolving. Our people are on top of these developments and can keep you up to date with some of the most interesting aspects of these changes. Check out our articles and updates for our perspective on issues that might affect you.

Latest articles from Sarah Stewart

  • Can an executor's attorney administer an estate in Scotland?

    Can an executor's attorney administer an estate in Scotland?

    A recent case in England has ruled that an executor (the person responsible for administering a deceased person's estate) can be replaced by their attorney for the purpose of the estate administration if they have lost capacity. But what is the position here in Scotland in such a situation?

  • What happens if your Will is unclear?

    What happens if your Will is unclear?

    In Scotland, generally Wills are to be interpreted intrinsically – or within the four corners of the document. The question is what the document actually says, which may well be different from what any potential beneficiaries would like it to say.  Any extrinsic evidence will not, as a general rule, be permitted when it comes to determining the intention of the testator.

  • Formal property valuations – when are they needed and are they even possible during lockdown?

    Formal property valuations – when are they needed and are they even possible during lockdown?

    A common question we often come across when dealing with estates and trusts is the question of when formal valuations are required, particularly with regards to property and contents. Estates will commonly include an interest in a property and everyone will own some personal possessions and contents. In addition, it is not uncommon for trusts to hold interests in properties.

  • Mental Health Awareness Week: Guardianships – when might they be required?

    Mental Health Awareness Week: Guardianships – when might they be required?

    While individuals automatically seek support and treatment from medical practitioners and specialist organisations, the law is able to provide a level of clarity and certainty during what is an extremely difficult and uncertain time. Lawyers are able to put in place a strategy to protect both the individual's wellbeing and assets throughout the duration of their illness. In this article we look at the place of Guardianships in Scotland.

  • Coronavirus: can Confirmation in an estate still be obtained during lockdown?

    Coronavirus: can Confirmation in an estate still be obtained during lockdown?

    Until recently, the position with regards to obtaining Confirmation in an estate (the Scottish equivalent of probate, which gives Executors the authority to uplift, ingather and transfer estate assets) was unclear. Thankfully some processes have now been changed to allow matters to progress though it is to be expected that all applications will, due to reduced staff resources, take longer. Here we look at what the process will involve.