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19 July 2019 News
We are fortunate to have a strong relationship with Square Foot Media, who have been at the forefront of property marketing for the past decade.  They are the experts when it comes to showcasing homes and are based in Edinburgh.  They have a dynamic team of photographers, some of whom are East Lothian based and are led by Robert Jenkins, the managing Director. The high quality of their photography is evident from their website: Meet Kath Thomson, Operations Manager, who is at the forefront of this exceptional company. •    Describe yourself in 3 words?       Happy, self-assured and organised •    What made you pursue…
05 July 2019 News
Our current selection of exclusive houses in three of East Lothian’s beautiful towns and villages each offer something a little different for buyers. Abbots Glen, Abbots Croft, North Berwick, EH39 5NG This impressive, detached house sits in a fantastic and prominent position in the coastal town of North Berwick with beautiful garden grounds and stunning views to the Firth of Forth, Craigleith and the Glen Golf Course.  A short walk takes you to the east beach through the scenic and tranquil woodland area, The Glen. Tucked away in a small exclusive and established development accessed from a private lane this offers a secluded spot in the…
28 June 2019 News
Giving away some of your assets to the next generation before your death can be an effective means of minimising your Inheritance Tax liability.  It is however important that the gift is absolute and you do not retain any form of benefit from the assets gifted away. It is relatively common for an individual to consider gifting their principal dwellinghouse during their lifetime and continuing to live in it after the gift is made. As they have retained the benefit of living in the property, this gift is considered by HM Revenue & Customs to be a Gift with Reservation of Benefit and the value of…
21 June 2019 News
According to Alzheimer Scotland, an estimated 90,000 people currently live with dementia in Scotland. Around 3,200 of these individuals are under the age of 65. By 2026, this number is expected to increase to approximately 164,000. As such, it is important to understand what happens when an adult has lost the ability to make their own decisions, without having first made a Power of Attorney appointing a specified person to act in such a circumstance. Where there is no Power of Attorney in place, and an incapacitated individual is over the age of 16 years old, a Guardianship Order must be sought from the Sheriff Court…
14 June 2019 News
If you are contemplating a move from the city to a semi-rural location then the village of Cockburnspath may be the ideal spot for you. It is located on the East Lothian/Berwickshire boundary and benefits from a village shop, local primary school, garage and a church. There is a beautiful beach and harbour at the Cove and this is but a ten minute walk from the village. It is perfect for walking enthusiasts as the Southern Upland Way terminates here. It opened in 1984 and was the UK’s first officially  recognised coast-to-coast long distance route. We are currently marketing two very different properties, both of which would make…
07 June 2019 News
Inheritance Tax is charged on the estate of an individual who has died. The standard rate of Inheritance Tax is 40% and this is applied by HMRC to any estate over the Nil Rate Band, which is presently set at £325,000. Further thresholds can be added to this figure when your home is gifted to your children (or grandchildren) or when your spouse has predeceased. The additional threshold when gifting to your children is known as a Residence Nil Rate Band. This came into operation on 6 April 2017 (and applied to deaths occurring only after this date) initially at a level of £100,000 with increases…
31 May 2019 News
It is estimated that around 76% of young adults aged between 18 to 34 do not have a Will. This is 40% less than their counterparts aged 55 and over. This is largely due to the younger generation being of the opinion that (a) they do not feel “old enough” to make a Will, (b) their estates are not of high enough value to justify making one and (c) the misconception that their estate would automatically go to the “right” person when they die. Having a Will is important regardless of age or financial circumstance and allows an individual to take control of their estate and…
24 May 2019 News
A Will narrates what should happen with everything you own (referred to as your estate) when you pass away.  As circumstances change throughout life, we always recommend the terms of your Will be reviewed regularly.  Once you have a Will it is possible to amend the terms of your Will without redoing the whole document.  This can be done in the form of a codicil. A Codicil is a testamentary writing which is read alongside the original Will.  It is possible to have more than one codicil alongside your Will.   However, having many codicils can cause confusion, so it may be sensible to redo your Will…
17 May 2019 News
We have done a previous blog on writing your own Will but did you know it is possible to do your own conveyancing?   Like most things DIY, it comes with a very big warning!  Owning a property is the largest investment most people make, so the thought of finding out you don’t actually own it would be a headache.   A basic overview of the purchase transaction will highlight the amount involved in a transaction:   1. A written legal offer is submitted and missives thereafter, concluding the contract 2. The title deeds need to be examined and searches reviewed, to ensure the seller actually…
10 May 2019 News
Last year there was a 4% increase in the number of New Build properties completed in Scotland, compared to the previous year. As such, it is no surprise to learn that New Build properties are becoming an increasingly popular choice. Before purchasing a New Build property, it is important to consider the following issues: ·A reservation fee will be charged at the point of reserving the property, and a deposit, at the time of concluding missives. These payments can be non-refundable if the transaction falls through at a later date. You must also have the funds available to pay the deposit (prior to the utilisation of…

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North Berwick - 01620 892138
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