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News

Fergusson Law shares their latest news, the latest legal news and provides some legal advice on this blog.

Fergusson Law is Legal Aid Provider

Legal aid is a fundamental part of Scotland's legal system and society. It makes accessing legal representation and advice from a solicitor more affordable for those who need it.

Civil legal aid is a scheme to help pay for representation by a solicitor or an advocate in the civil courts. Civil legal aid is means-tested. Depending on your income and savings our legal advice may be free, or you may have to make a contribution towards the cost. Getting civil legal aid also depends on whether the Scottish Legal Aid Board agrees that it is reasonable to go to court to pursue or to defend the case.

Fergusson Law is an Accredited Provider with the Scottish Legal Aid Board. 

Inheritance Tax Lessons from the Great and Good

Six common sense and legal ways to pay less tax; all used by well-known people (and for you too).

  1. Ronnie Corbett sold his large family home and gave the proceeds to his children. Since he lived on for a full seven years after the gifts there was no IHT to pay. Even not surviving the whole seven years would have saved some tax.
  2. Tony Wedgwood Benn’s family all agreed to vary his wife’s will after her death. ‘Deeds of variation’ are common ways of a family agreeing the legacies of a will in the most tax beneficial way.
  3. Jim Slater invested heavily in shares listed on the London Alternative Market which are exempt from IHT. Although a specialist area of investment there are many well established companies on this Market . Take specialist advice.
  4. Rik Mayall was an unfortunate example.  He made no Will at all which not only led to more tax being paid than necessary but also to distant relatives getting unintended windfalls.  
  5. Peter Ustinov left more than one Will in different countries because he had assets overseas. The resulting confusion absorbed over £10m of his assets in legal fees.   
  6. Denis Healey's estate (the late Labour chancellor 'squeeze the rich until the pips squeak') has saved £75,000 by donating his correspondence to an Oxford library. Are your papers of national importance?

Any of these ring a bell with you? Talk to us now.

Buy-to-Let investor? Who will inherit your properties?

Do you have a Will? If you die without one, your estate may not be distributed in the way you would have intended, and it might cause real problems for your family.  The issue is of particular concern to buy-to-let investors, who own flats and houses in addition to their family home.

If you do not have a Will in Scotland, your estate is divided according to the rules of intestacy.

After your spouse (probably) gets the family home any other houses and land you own (including your buy-to-let properties), and all the cash remaining may go to relatives (Laughing Heirs) whom you have never met.   

Laughing Heir is taken from the German ‘der lachende Erbe’ referring to heirs whose relationship to the deceased is so distant they suffer no sense of bereavement but are happy to receive an unexpected financial windfall

Download our Information Sheet Intestacy, read this article, No Will leads to family disputes,  or call us now on 0131 556 4044

If there is no Will, and no heirs that can be found, the Scottish Government will get these assets.