Notes on Common Topics

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Can I Pull Out of a House Purchase?

The short answer to the question in the title is one beloved of lawyers namely: it depends. The answer is yes you may pull out before ‘missives are concluded’; but no you may not once ‘missives are concluded’. An explanation … More

Buying a House in Scotland – FAQs

What should I do first?   Not many people can buy a property without getting a loan from a bank or building society. So the first thing is to get an agreement in principle from a lender as to how … More

Purchase of Flats etc at ‘Auction’

The usual way of buying a house, or a flat (or other ‘heritable’ property) involves the would-be purchasers having viewed it after it has been publicly advertised; getting their solicitor to put in a written offer to the sellers’ solicitors; … More

Care Home Fees Protection – No Magic Fix

It is not unusual for a client or prospective client to approach us for advice about protecting their assets (usually a house) against possible future long-term residential care costs: they may have seen publicity about such schemes or heard of … More

Divorce & Financial Provision

When it comes to financial provision on divorce it has been said that “…the matter is essentially one of discretion [for the court] aimed at achieving a fair and practicable result in accordance with common-sense…” (per Lord President Hope in … More

Why Should I Make a Will?

There are two main answers to that question. By making a Will you choose (i) who you want to deal with the administration of your affairs on your death, and (ii) who you want to benefit from your estate. It’s … More

Why Should I Make a Power of Attorney?

The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 (“the Act”) introduced a whole new range of measures to cover decision-making for “Adults with Incapacity” in relation to both property matters and matters of personal welfare. Broadly speaking if a person loses … More

What To Do When Someone Dies

The death of a relative or close friend is a difficult time. And there are also the immediate practical questions about getting a death certificate; registering the death; and arranging the funeral which have to be dealt with in the … More

Living Together & Property Rights

The aim of this Note is to outline what the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 (“the Act”) does about property rights for couples who are living together (“cohabiting”). For people who are married, or for same-sex couples in civil partnerships, … More

Inheritance Tax (“IHT”) on Death

Broadly speaking, on death, the market value of everything you own at death is added up. If you made any lifetime gifts within seven years of your death then, in principle, they too are added onto the value of what … More

Debt Recovery: Some Practical Pointers

Is it Really Worth it? Court action to recover a debt may result in a court “decree” saying the debtor must pay – but if he or she has no money the decree may not be worth much in practice: … More

Buying a Home – First Time Buyers

In Scotland – things are not done in quite the same way in England – the buyer’s solicitor makes a written offer to buy and the seller accepts in writing. The solicitors then exchange letters – known as “the missives” … More