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24 January 2020 News
In Scotland, anyone over the age of sixteen is considered an adult and acquires legal capacity at that age. The term Guardian in Scotland has two separate meanings. The first is appointed by the court to act for a person lacking capacity.  The second form of guardian is the appointment of a legal guardian to look after children under the age of sixteen, and are usually appointed by written instruction of the children’s parents.  This can be done in the form of their Will, or separate written instructions.  The appointed guardian is considered to be the child’s legal representative, and has legal rights to make decisions…
17 January 2020 News
What is Business Property Relief (BPR)? BPR reduces the value of a business or its assets when working out how much inheritance tax (IHT) is paid on its transfer. This relates to business property owned by someone while they are alive or which forms part of their estate on death. What is a business? The meaning of ‘business’ is not defined for IHT purposes, so it has its ordinary meaning, which is a trade or profession carried on for gain. The definition therefore includes property such as a sole trader's business and a partner's share in a partnership carrying on a business. The property must consist…
10 January 2020 News
When making a Will, an individual can also decide to draft a supplementary Letter of Wishes, designed to be read alongside the Will to help clarify the Will maker’s intentions at the time of drafting and offer guidance to the Executors, Trustees or Guardians, to assist them to fulfil their duties under the Will.  Importantly, unlike a Will, the contents of a Letter of Wishes are designed to be private and confidential and are not legally binding. Whilst a Letter of Wishes is not required in every situation, there are certain circumstances in which they can be incredibly useful.   A Letter of Wishes can be used…
20 December 2019 News
The First Home Fund is a shared equity scheme which was launched by the Scottish Government on 18 December 2019.  It will run until March 2021 and is open to first-time buyers.  The scheme aims to assist first-time buyers in making a deposit on their new home more affordable.   In order for a buyer to qualify for the scheme they will require to meet a number of criteria, for example:-  1.    They must be a first-time buyer (a person who does not own nor has previously owned a dwelling in Scotland, the rest of the United Kingdom or the rest of the world); 2.    The property…
13 December 2019 News
We are one of East Lothian’s most recognisable estate agency brands and have over 90 years’ experience of selling and buying properties in East Lothian. Our property team has exceptional knowledge of the local housing market and would be delighted to be entrusted with the sale of your property. Meet Tracy French, our Property Manager in North Berwick. Q:  Can you describe a typical day as Property Manager for Paris Steele? A typical day as Property Manager will start in the office planning the day ahead, followed by some research into the property I am booked in to visit to carry out a pre-sale market appraisal…
06 December 2019 News
The Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011 made it compulsory for landlords to place tenancy deposits within an approved scheme for protection during a tenancy.   A deposit must be paid into one of three approved schemes in Scotland, within thirty working days of the start of a tenancy.  Should a landlord fail to lodge a deposit in an approved scheme within that timescale, or fail to provide statutory written information to the tenant, then the tenant can apply to the First-Tier Tribunal for an order for payment in their favour against the landlord of up to three times the amount of the deposit taken.    Amendments…
29 November 2019 News
The ESPC have just published their House Price Report for October, and the key points are as undernoted: •    In Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders, the average selling price from August to October was £253,552, a 2.5% increase from the same period last year. In East Lothian however, the average selling price was £252,189, an increase of 6.3% year on year. •    During the last three months, the total sales volume in these areas rose by 2.8%. •    The number of properties coming to the market decreased by 2.9% annually. Jamie Fraser-Davidson, Business Analyst at ESPC said: “from August to October 2019, there has…
22 November 2019 News
The most common transactions at the Bank of Mum and Dad are for deposits on house purchases, with the remainder being used for mortgage payments, land and buildings transaction tax and legal costs. With that in mind, if you are in the lucky position to be able to help your children, or perhaps you are the child receiving the help – what should you consider? Gifting money Parents can give their child a lump sum, most commonly used as a deposit for their first home. This is normally in the form of a tax free gift. Parents are entitled to gift their children money, subject to…
15 November 2019 News
A move to a countryside idyll is the dream for many. If you’re thinking of moving to the quiet of the countryside, you are not alone. Making sure you know what you’re looking for is key to getting your dream country home. The perfect house There’s a whole spectrum of options out there, from an isolated spot, to a small village, to a market town, to the outskirts of a bigger town.  Each has its own benefits and lifestyle.  Knowing which is going to suit you is key.  Remember that country living does not always mean a stone built property, there are more modern builds out…
08 November 2019 News
According to statistics, FTBs make up 50% of the Scottish property market.   Of these, and as of  March of this year, £234,074 FTBs have utilised the Help to Buy ISA (HTB ISA) scheme since 2015.  This scheme assists FTBs over the age of 16, who have never held an interest in a property before, to buy a principal residence in Scotland, up to the value of £250,000.   Through the scheme, FTBs can save up to £200 a month (although they can activate their savings by depositing a lump sum of up to £1200 in the first month) and the Government will help by boosting their savings…

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