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 Individuals and families articles

  • What happens if my spouse excludes me from their Will?

    What happens if my spouse excludes me from their Will?

    In Scotland, you cannot disinherit your spouse or child therefore even if there is no provision for a spouse and/or child to inherit in your Will, they would have a right to a share in the moveable estate. This is an automatic right and is very different to the position in England and Wales, which you will see in the following example online here.

  • Will my farmhouse be exempt from Inheritance Tax?

    Will my farmhouse be exempt from Inheritance Tax?

    The case of the William Charnley & Maxwell Hodgkinson as Executors of the Estate of Thomas Gill (deceased) v HMRC [2019] TC7425 explored claims of Agricultural Property Relief ("APR") and Business Property Relief ("BPR") against Inheritance Tax (IHT) in relation to farmhouses and outbuildings.

  • Succession Rights for Cohabitants in Scotland

    Succession Rights for Cohabitants in Scotland

    It's a common misconception that cohabiting couples have similar rights to married couples on death. Although there are some rights in place for a cohabitant in Scotland, their succession rights are in fact very limited. A cohabitant's claim can only be brought on intestacy (where there is no Will) and it must be within six months of death.

  • Executors responsibilities – can an Executor be held liable after distribution of an estate?

    Executors responsibilities – can an Executor be held liable after distribution of an estate?

    Taking on the role of an Executor carries with it a great deal of responsibility. An Executor has the legal authority to administer an estate and is ultimately responsible for any mistakes made. They can be held personally financially liable for any breaches of duty. As a result it is imperative that the Executor does everything in his power to ensure that they include all assets in the inventory of the estate and that they settle all liabilities of the Estate in full.

  • Reforming the Law of Succession in Scotland – avoiding unexpected consequences of dying without a Will

    Reforming the Law of Succession in Scotland – avoiding unexpected consequences of dying without a Will

    The Scottish Government has recently issued its response to the consultation on the law of succession from 2019. The intention of the consultation is to bring Scotland up to date as the current law is largely based on legislation from almost 60 years ago. The consultation focused on who should inherit a person's estate when they die without making a Will, this is known as "intestacy".