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Legal rights of children in Scotland

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I am executor of my mother’s will along with my brother. A bit of background for info. Our father died previously, there are a total of 7 siblings. Mother owned the house outright and her original will stated that 2 of my siblings only were to inherit the property and I know the reason why. She moved into rented accommodation due to ill health and the property was sold turning the heritable property into moveable. Such was her concern that the 2 siblings wouldn’t inherit the house she wanted them to have the value of the house or if she were to go into a care home any money remaining that wasn’t used in the upkeep of staying in a care home. I was her POA and ensured that this money was kept separate from her usual savings and she wrote a new will at the solicitors stating the above. The remaining 5 siblings (which includes myself) plus the 2 siblings were to split the rest of the estate equally. The question is the legal rights of the 5 siblings to inherit a share of the house money. Should I as executor inform them of this stipulation in the will? Ask them to renounce their legal rights? I know they would be entitled to 1/14th which in the grand scheme of things is probably about £5000 more than they would get with the rest of the estate. 2 of the siblings are basically estranged and probably might pursue this. If they did, do they have to choose this or their inheritance? 
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  • edited 11 July at 4:58PM
    Keep_pedallingKeep_pedalling Forumite
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    edited 11 July at 4:58PM
    As executor you have a responsibility to inform all your siblings of their rights, so yes you must do that.

    Children can claim their legal rights or a bequest from the will not both.
  • GSS20GSS20 Forumite
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    Just been reading up a little and have a further thought. The estate is made up entirely of money the biggest proportion being from the sale of the house 4 years previously. This (house)money is to go to the 2 siblings as stated in the will. Is it these 2 siblings who have to choose between the house money (is this called a pecuniary legacy) or the savings (non house). Can the rest of the siblings say this is not fair and demand what they see as their share even though they will receive the savings money so not being disinherited as such. 
  • Keep_pedallingKeep_pedalling Forumite
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    All the money is movable estate and will have to be included for any claim by anyone under legal rights. Any of your siblings can came legal rights but that would be a dumb move if it left you with less, so the only ones worth claiming it are the 5 who were left the smaller share.
  • itsanneitsanne Forumite
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    GSS20 said:
    Can the rest of the siblings say this is not fair and demand what they see as their share even though they will receive the savings money so not being disinherited as such. 
    Yes, up to one fourteenth of the total. As soon as the house was sold the money became "moveable estate" and has to be included when working out the legal rights. Regardless of what she wanted to happen, your mother could not prevent half her estate being shared equally between the siblings once it all became moveable. There is no scope for leaving anyone a smaller amount than their legal right unless they choose not to claim it. Her solicitor should have explained that to her.

    Presumably the two who would have inherited the house will end up with the half of your mother's estate that is not included in the legal rights? That means they'll still get more than the others, which goes some way towards what your mother wanted. (Exactly how much they'll get depends on how the will was worded - they can't claim legal rights in addition to whatever they have been left.)





    . . .I did not speak out

    Then they came for me
    And there was no one left
    To speak out for me..

    Martin Niemoller
  • GSS20GSS20 Forumite
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    Thanks itsanne for your reply I cannot seem to post comment when I press quote and reply but sorry I don’t understand the part “Presumably the two who would have inherited the house will end up with the half of your mother's estate that is not included in the legal rights”
    Am I correct in thinking that the following scenario would be correct:-
    As per will no legal rights claimed for example house money totals £100k savings total £21k (made up figures for ease) the 2 siblings would receive £53k each (half share house money 7th share savings).
    As per legal rights claimed by other 5 siblings they would get 1/14th of £121k = £8642
    The 2 siblings would get £38893 each as they would not exercise their legal rights calculated as the difference between the estate total less the legal rights of the other 5 siblings. This value would increase should any of the 5 not exercise legal rights.
    i am trying to get this into my head to be able to execute the will when the time comes but I will be getting legal advise to ensure it is correct as per the will.
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  • Snowdrops_BluebellsSnowdrops_Bluebells Forumite
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    Hi,

    Sorry for your loss and the situation you find yourself in.

    When your father passed did all the children renounce their legal rights (on his estate) in writing? (Although irrelevant if it is more than 20 years since he passed)

    If even one of your siblings doesn’t appreciate what your mum was trying to achieve with her will this has the potential to cause upset. Most definitely seek legal advice on how to proceed. 

    Although iirc my husbands letter I am sure asked if he wished/did not wish to claim legal rights to delete as appropriate, sign, date and return to executor. 

    All the best.
  • GSS20GSS20 Forumite
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    Hi,

    Sorry for your loss and the situation you find yourself in.

    When your father passed did all the children renounce their legal rights (on his estate) in writing? (Although irrelevant if it is more than 20 years since he passed)

    If even one of your siblings doesn’t appreciate what your mum was trying to achieve with her will this has the potential to cause upset. Most definitely seek legal advice on how to proceed. 

    Although iirc my husbands letter I am sure asked if he wished/did not wish to claim legal rights to delete as appropriate, sign, date and return to executor. 

    All the best.
    We didn’t renounce our legal rights for our father in writing. The will stated everything went to mum there was only the heritable property that was of any value no cash belonging to him apart from a life insurance which paid his funeral and such was her relationship with us all at the time everyone accepted this. This situation has arisen due to the behaviour of one sibling but when money comes into it you get to see the side of another sibling (not the 2 who will inherit the most).
  • itsanneitsanne Forumite
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    GSS20 said:
    Thanks itsanne for your reply I cannot seem to post comment when I press quote and reply but sorry I don’t understand the part “Presumably the two who would have inherited the house will end up with the half of your mother's estate that is not included in the legal rights”
    Am I correct in thinking that the following scenario would be correct:-
    As per will no legal rights claimed for example house money totals £100k savings total £21k (made up figures for ease) the 2 siblings would receive £53k each (half share house money 7th share savings).
    As per legal rights claimed by other 5 siblings they would get 1/14th of £121k = £8642
    The 2 siblings would get £38893 each as they would not exercise their legal rights calculated as the difference between the estate total less the legal rights of the other 5 siblings. This value would increase should any of the 5 not exercise legal rights.
    i am trying to get this into my head to be able to execute the will when the time comes but I will be getting legal advise to ensure it is correct as per the will.

    What I meant is pretty much what you have said.

    However, something you might want to bear in mind is that if any of the five siblings exercises their legal rights, the ‘pot’ (ie the saved money, not the house money) for the remainder of the five decreases. If one sibling claims legal rights and no allowance is made to compensate the other four, they end up with a sixth of £12,358 instead of a seventh of £21,000 – £2059 instead of £3000. If two claim legal rights, the remaining three get just £743. It would seem fairer to give anyone not claiming legal rights the £3000 your mother intended and then split what was left between the two your mother meant to get the house money.






    . . .I did not speak out

    Then they came for me
    And there was no one left
    To speak out for me..

    Martin Niemoller
  • edited 13 July at 10:48AM
    GSS20GSS20 Forumite
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    edited 13 July at 10:48AM
    itsanne said:
    GSS20 said:
    Thanks itsanne for your reply I cannot seem to post comment when I press quote and reply but sorry I don’t understand the part “Presumably the two who would have inherited the house will end up with the half of your mother's estate that is not included in the legal rights”
    Am I correct in thinking that the following scenario would be correct:-
    As per will no legal rights claimed for example house money totals £100k savings total £21k (made up figures for ease) the 2 siblings would receive £53k each (half share house money 7th share savings).
    As per legal rights claimed by other 5 siblings they would get 1/14th of £121k = £8642
    The 2 siblings would get £38893 each as they would not exercise their legal rights calculated as the difference between the estate total less the legal rights of the other 5 siblings. This value would increase should any of the 5 not exercise legal rights.
    i am trying to get this into my head to be able to execute the will when the time comes but I will be getting legal advise to ensure it is correct as per the will.

    What I meant is pretty much what you have said.

    However, something you might want to bear in mind is that if any of the five siblings exercises their legal rights, the ‘pot’ (ie the saved money, not the house money) for the remainder of the five decreases. If one sibling claims legal rights and no allowance is made to compensate the other four, they end up with a sixth of £12,358 instead of a seventh of £21,000 – £2059 instead of £3000. If two claim legal rights, the remaining three get just £743. It would seem fairer to give anyone not claiming legal rights the £3000 your mother intended and then split what was left between the two your mother meant to get the house money.






    Sorry you have lost me with the figures. From what I can see you have taken £8642 which is 1/14th of the entire estate (house and money) and taken that off the £21k savings to get £12358 am I correct or is that a coincidence and if so why does the legal rights value only come off the savings value and not the whole estate. The will states after 2 siblings get the balance remaining of the house money the residue to such of my children (named all 7 siblings) equally among them. 


  • GSS20GSS20 Forumite
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    Then surely it would be better to ask in fairness all 5 siblings to claim legal rights.
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