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05 October 2021 News & Announcements
We are delighted to be taking part in North Berwick's first Window Wanderland - a magical event taking place from 3 - 10 October in which local businesses transform their windows into outdoor galleries for all to enjoy. Window Wanderland is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to reducing social isolation and fostering a sense of community. The photo above is our 2021 Window Wanderland display.
09 September 2021 News & Announcements
Paris Steele are delighted to have raised a total of £2,400 for Will Aid in 2020 - providing vital support to nine different charities. You can read about our participation in the East Lothian Courier article by clicking here. We are proud to be, once again, taking part in Will Aid and have pledged to waive our usual fee for a will in exchange for donations to charity in the month of November. Please contact us at one of our branches for further information, or to arrange an appointment. To visit the Will Aid website please click here.
When it comes to selling your house, you would think it’s pretty easy to decide which offer is the right one to accept – it’s the highest one.  Or is it?  Closing dates have returned to the Scottish property market with a vengeance, driven by strong demand coupled with a shortage of property for sale. Anyone selling their home today should not be surprised to find that several offers have been submitted by the closing date deadline. It’s not inevitable, but it’s certainly possible and even likely in these pandemic times if you have a property with a garden.  As the seller, you have to…
13 July 2021 Private Client
Don’t leave a legacy of confusion and conflict For a lawyer, or for anyone involved in dealing with the work of winding up someone’s estate, it is simply astonishing that six out of ten adults in Scotland don’t have a Will. Why? Because we regularly see the undesirable consequences of not leaving a Will. And because making one is not particularly expensive or time consuming. It’s understandable, of course, that people dislike thinking of their own mortality and there’s an unfortunate temptation to put making a Will to one side ‘for when we are older’. But a more important reason for not making a Will…
Your children are ready to fly the nest and, like many parents, you want to give them a helping hand on to the first rung of the property ladder. Well, the near relentless rise in property prices over the last six decades has delivered opportunities and obstacles in almost equal measure - which we’ll come to in a moment. But the focus on the financial practicalities of how you might help your children to buy their first home often obscures a much more fundamental question that you really ought to consider before you start talking about the money. What happens if your children have to…
09 July 2021 Family Law
Whilst orders relating to money are not unusual in divorce proceedings, it is unusual for a Sheriff to order that children should leave their fee paying school and attend a state school. Lengthy divorce proceedings were brought by a husband against his wife based upon her adultery with a paramour. During their marriage, the husband and wife had interlinked financial interests in each other’s companies. These comprised a mix of salary and dividend payments. The parties had married in 2003 and separated in 2018. The wife, who was the defender in the action, argued that it was her husband’s responsibility to pay for their children’s…
17 February 2021 Private Client
Before the advent of the Adults with Incapacity Act, people would regularly grant a Power of Attorney as a matter of convenience. This was normally done if someone was routinely out of the country and needed someone at home to sign documents. People who lived abroad but had property and business in Scotland might also grant a Power of Attorney to allow their affairs to be dealt with in their absence. However, there were issues with traditional Powers of Attorney because they couldn’t be used if the person who made the Power of Attorney lost capacity. If they had an injury or illness or accident…
15 February 2021 Private Client
When the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus a global pandemic on 11 March 2020, it caused unprecedented turbulence to everyday lives, perhaps most notably causing a major shift in working practices. Legal professionals were forced to adopt new practices to navigate the obstacles that digital working presented, whilst still delivering the most comprehensive legal advice to clients. Homeworking, as a public health measure, in response to the pandemic has been a crucial factor in mitigating the transmission of the virus amongst the general population, becoming a catalyst for digitalisation and modernisation of traditional legal practices. The preclusion of individuals meeting has facilitated the relaxation…
08 February 2021 Residential Conveyancing
  When the pandemic lockdown was imposed in March last year, the housing market came to an abrupt halt. Some of the reasons were clearly obvious – no mixing of households, no non-essential travel and work from and stay at home if at all possible. Another not so obvious reason was the fact that the Registers of Scotland closed the applications register. That meant the new deeds transferring ownership couldn’t be registered. Last June saw the housing market re-open and, after some tentative steps, the market took off! The property market continues to be very busy, despite almost the whole of Scotland being in a Level…
04 February 2021 Residential Conveyancing
In her draft Scottish Budget on 28 January 2021, Kate Forbes, MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance announced a change to the Land & Building Transaction Tax (LBTT) threshold. She advised that the threshold above which LBTT is payable would revert to £145,000 (£175,000 for first-time buyers). This change will come into effect on 1 April 2021. In July last year, following an easing of the lockdown which had, effectively, closed down the property market, the Finance Secretary announced that the LBTT threshold would increase to £250,000. This meant that anyone buying a property below £250,000 would pay no LBTT. It also meant that those…

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North Berwick - 01620 892138
Haddington - 01620 820982
Dunbar - 01368 862746

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