Until March 2016, the courts required executors-dative in intestate estates to obtain a bond of caution before they would grant confirmation in an estate.
The only exception to this requirement was a spouse executor whose prior rights exhausted the estate.
This legislation was archaic and had not been updated since 1964, until the Succession (Scotland) Act 2016.
Sections 18-22 of the 2016 Act, which came into force the day after royal assent, have extended the spouse exemption to other categories for bonds of caution, including certain civil partners and small estates.
The exemption is now available to civil partners whose prior rights exhaust the estate, bringing them into line with a spouse in the same position; and to estates under £36,000 (small estates) where the simplified procedure applies and where the executor-dative has applied to have the sheriff clerk prepare the inventory and declaration of the confirmation application (Form C1).
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