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08 July 2020 News
A Settlement Agreement is an agreement between an employer and employee (or former employee) which is used to bring an employment contract or employment relationship to an end in a mutually agreed way. It is not always necessary to use a Settlement Agreement when a Contract of Employment or employment relationship is terminated but a Settlement Agreement does usually provide a quick and dignified end to an employment relationship and can avoid time, cost and stress for all parties When terms are agreed, a formal written Settlement Agreement will be produced by the employer.  For the Settlement Agreement to competently waive an individual’s right to bring legal…
29 June 2020 News
For those looking to buy their first property, the journey ahead may seem quite challenging but also very exciting. Here are some tips which may help you along the way: Start saving: If you save money into a Help to Buy ISA, then the Government can boost your savings by 25%. So, for every £200 you will receive a Government bonus of £50. The minimum government bonus is £400, meaning that you need to have saved at least £1,600 into your Help to Buy ISA before you can claim your bonus. The maximum government bonus you can receive is £3,000 – to receive that, you need…
13 May 2020 News
We advise clients of all ages and stages in life to ensure that they have a Will in place to protect them, and their loved ones, upon their death.  The current Coronavirus pandemic, and the understandable concern that this is causing, has resulted in an increase in queries from clients looking to put in place a Will, or update an existing Will. Whilst we would normally meet with a client face to face (either in the office or their own home) to take instructions and thereafter carry out the signing and witnessing of the Will, the current movement restrictions and physical closure of our offices prohibits us…
28 February 2020 News
A recent report published by the Scottish Parliamentary Working Group on Tenement Maintenance is calling for regular inspections, ownership associations and national funds to improve and protect the future of tenement buildings across Scotland. This report can be read in full here; https://www.befs.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Working-Group-on-Maintenance-of-Tenement-Scheme-Property-Final-Recommendations-Report.pdf This issue has slowly been rising up the Scottish Parliamentary agenda and the Scottish Housing Condition Survey 2017 showed that almost a fifth of all pre-1919 housing has disrepair to critical elements. The survey highlighted that this issue must be addressed to ensure a sustainable standard of living for Scotland’s most common type of dwelling. The Scottish Government voted to review existing tenement…
21 February 2020 News
Whilst winter may not seem the best time for buying your next home, there are certain advantages, as you will see first-hand, how well the property will protect you in the harshest weather conditions. Potential issues are more likely to appear and be more recognisable. •    Check for signs of dampness: Be on the lookout for any discolouration, peeling wallpaper or musty damp smells in the property. These may be due to something as simple as a clogged or damaged gutter or down pipe, faulty plumbing or poor ventilation.  If these are present then they should be mentioned in the home report. Your solicitor will be…
31 January 2020 News
Your house will certainly be more attractive to buyers with some general sprucing up and cleaning. Larger projects such as loft conversions, converting a garage or adding a conservatory may achieve high rewards if you have the time and money, but small things can make a surprising difference too.   Redecorate and complete easy upgrades Redecorating is the most popular home improvement and giving your home a lick of paint and doing some general maintenance can be done at a relatively low cost. Fresh paint in neutral colours can go a long way to giving your home a new lease of life, so do not…
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…

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North Berwick - 01620 892138
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