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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…
07 January 2021 News
In accordance with the current UK and Scottish Government guidance, our branch offices are closed, but we continue to operate remotely and instructions can be taken by email, telephone or video conferencing and documents provided electronically or by post. Our property and legal teams are here to assist you with both ongoing legal and property matters, or a new enquiry. Our legal team remains fully operational and we continue to offer our usual conveyancing service for both sale and purchase transactions. We also continue to provide advice on wills, powers of attorney and executry work, family law, incapacity matters and advice for small businesses. Our property…
10 December 2020 Residential Conveyancing
Preparing your home for viewers (or “staging” as it’s often referred to) is really important when selling a property. Not only can it help your property to sell faster, but can also potentially add to its overall value.   1. Declutter – but don’t depersonalise   Get rid of all of the excess items that you have accumulated over the years. People need to be able to envisage what the property would look like if they were living there, without clutter.   Don’t make it look like a generic hotel though; leave some personality.   Consider removing any bulky furniture that makes the room feel small…
09 July 2020 News
The lockdown has been financial tough for many families, not least for those who were placed on furlough or, worse still, were made redundant. Losing your income or having it reduced makes it hard to get through the month at the best of times but during a pandemic when you can’t even leave your home to look for work, makes file extremely difficult indeed. In an effort to help those who are experiencing financial hardship during this time, the UK Government reached agreement with mortgage lenders to allow their borrowers to take a mortgage payment holiday for a period of time. Initially, lenders were accepting applications…
09 July 2020 News
Additional Dwelling Supplement reclaim time extended – but there’s a catch! As a result of the extended lockdown due to the coronavirus, the Scottish Government has extended the length of time within which the Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS) can be reclaimed. The provision was included in the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020 and it now means that where the ADS has been paid and where the individual is eligible, the timescale for reclaiming it is now 36 months. Why would an individual pay ADS? ADS is paid by an individual who already owns a residential property when they buy another residential property or by a company…
09 July 2020 News
The Help to Buy (Scotland) Scheme extended The Help to Buy (Scotland) Scheme was scheduled to end in March 2021 but the Scottish Government recently announced its extension until March 2022. They claim that this will help an additional 2,000 households whilst at the same time supporting housebuilders. An additional £55 million has been allocated and will be available for the year 2021/22. The housing ministers, Kevin Stewart, MSP, said: “Extending this scheme will help more people to buy a new-build property, particularly those who have suffered lower levels of income and have used up savings due to the impact of COVID-19 in recent months.”  When asked about…

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North Berwick - 01620 892138
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