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

06 November 2019 News
If you are contemplating a move from the city to a more rural location, then we are currently marketing two very different properties in the Scottish Borders which may be of interest to you. Brae House, a most impressive detached four bedroom family home, complemented by an extensive delightful wrap-around garden of approximately 0.75 acres could be ideal for you. Located in the heart of the beautiful Berwickshire countryside, and commanding panoramic views, yet is less than a ten minute drive from the A1, via the village of Ayton.  Accordingly, the journey time to Edinburgh is around one hour and to the charming coastal town of…
01 November 2019 News
We will be offering you the chance to have a simple Will drawn up by one of our experienced lawyersfree of charge. All we ask is that in return you consider making a donation to one of the Will Aid charities of your choice. The suggested donation level is £100 for a single basic Will and £180 for a pair of Wills. The money raised supports the vital work of nine of the UK’s best known charities all of whom work to transform the lives of people in the UK and around the world: ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save the Children…
25 October 2019 News
The usual time frame between making an offer on a property and getting the keys is anything from one month to three months, but mostly around 6-8 weeks. That period is when the conveyancing is carried out by the Solicitor, some parts of which you will be aware of, and some of which you will not.   In the final week before you are due to collect the keys, your solicitor will confirm your preference of where to pick them up.  It can be at either your solicitor’s office, the seller’s lawyers’ office, or sometimes direct between the purchaser and seller. Once the arrangement is made…
18 October 2019 News
We advise clients of all ages and stages of life to ensure that they have a Will in place to protect them, and their loved ones, upon their death.   However, it is also important that you regularly review your Will to ensure that it continues to protect your estate, reflect your wishes and is accurate.   Certain major life events should prompt you to review your Will and make relevant changes, such as buying a house, getting married, having children and getting divorced. When you put your Will in place, it is advisable to contain certain provisions within it to cover potential future events.   For example, where…
11 October 2019 News
What is a Trust? A trust is when one person is given property to hold for the benefit of another. Setting up a trust allows you to direct certain assets to specified beneficiaries and gives you peace of mind that your estate is organised according to your wishes. There are different types of trust suitable for different situations, including: •    Liferent trusts •    Discretionary trusts •    Charitable trusts Who is Involved in the Trust Process? There are three main parties involved in the establishment of a trust: •    The settlor  – this is the person who establishes the trust and decides which assets are to be…
04 October 2019 News
It has been estimated that around only 4% of estates in the UK last year were subject to Inheritance Tax, due to the various tax allowances available when someone passes away.  If tax is due however, the bill can often be substantial as the tax is charged at 40% (or 36%) depending on the circumstances, over the relevant Nil Rate Band for the individual concerned. Interestingly, the rules regarding Inheritance Tax could be in for an overhaul in years to come, due to recommendations made by the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS).  Whilst the Government have not made any formal responses as yet, it is worth…
27 September 2019 News
Sandra Duguid, our Dunbar based property manager, offers advice for sellers looking to increase their chance of selling their home in the forthcoming months.   •    Consider an autumnal scene – warm tones and colours can help your home reflect the season. Ensure your home is warm, cosy and colourful.  If you want to do this on budget, why not invest in a new rug or fluffy cushions in autumnal colours.  If you have a wood burner or multi-fuel stove, ensure this is given prominence in the photos, and for viewings. •    Concentrate on lighting - ideally viewings should be conducted during the day, to maximise…
20 September 2019 News
Succession planning can be challenging, particularly with the increase in the number of stepfamilies. According to the Scottish Law Commission, it is estimated that one in eight children are now part of a stepfamily and over half of all families in the UK are stepfamilies. A question which has been debated is whether or not step children should have the same inheritance rights afforded by law to that of biological or adopted children. At present, a surviving spouse and children have the right to make statutory claims against a deceased person’s estate. Crucially, this only includes biological or adopted children. Step-children, though they may be just…
13 September 2019 News
When a couple separates, there are a number of things that require to be agreed – from financial matters and the division of matrimonial assets, to the care and residence of any children. Whilst many parents choose to enter into a shared care arrangement where they share the residence of the children, commonly the children will have their residence with one parent, and have agreed residential and non-residential contact with the other parent. Child aliment (commonly referred to as “child maintenance”) is regular financial support from the non-residential parent to the residential parent to help towards the child’s everyday living costs.  In most cases, this level…
06 September 2019 News
Helping clients reach an agreement about the fair division of matrimonial property on divorce or dissolution can be a complex matter and the value of the parties’ pension savings can often be the biggest asset after the family home.  There are several options available regarding the splitting of pension savings and it is important to consider all of these options before deciding what is best for you.  Parties should start by valuing their respective interests.  The cash equivalent transfer value (CETV) of any pension interests as at the separation date is required.  The CETV requires to take into account the period of marriage only and therefore…

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

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