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23 May 2018 News
We are often asked to advise clients on how assets and income can be taken into account by local authorities when assessing payment for care. Where someone is moving to residential accommodation, the local authority must carry out a financial assessment of that person, and their ability to meet costs. The Residential Accommodation Guidelines for Local Authorities (which can be found at provides guidance to local authorities as to how to carry out that financial assessment. One issue which must be considered is “deprivation of assets”. This is where someone intentionally reduces their assets so that they will not be included in the financial assessment…
26 February 2018 News
The Scottish Government has commenced a Consultation on a proposed first time buyer’s relief from Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) which was announced in the draft Scottish Budget 2018/19.   The proposed first time buyer’s relief would raise the current LBTT threshold of £145,000 to £175,000 to first time buyers.   The Scottish Government have proposed that the relief would be available where:  -          -  The buyer is a natural person -          -   A single dwelling is purchased for more than £145,000 -          -   The buyer is a first time buyer who has never had…
21 February 2018 News
Having children is often a reason for making a Will or reviewing an existing Will.  You will wish to make provision for any funds in your estate to be held in Trust on your children’s behalf but one of the important reasons to review your Will after the birth of a child is to name a legal guardian to have responsibility for them after your death.  When considering who to appoint as a guardian to your children, you will need to consider the following:- Can they provide a stable and comfortable home? How is their relationship with your children? Where do they live in relation to…
20 February 2018 News
N ew laws have come into force requiring anyone carrying out letting agency work in Scotland to apply to be registered with the Scottish Ministers in the new Register of Letting Agents. To register they must pass a ‘fit and proper’ person test.  The Register of Letting Agents is run by Scottish Ministers and all letting agents must have submitted an application for registration by 1 October 2018. Letting agents are also now subject to stringent training requirements, as well as a new Code of Practice. The Code of Practice came into force on 31 January 2018 and sets out the standards that all letting agents operating in…
17 February 2018 News
When you make your Will, you will need to consider who will deal with your estate and carry out your wishes after you are gone.  The people you choose to appoint are called your “Executors”.  Being an Executor is an important role which carries certain legal responsibilities.  Not everybody will want to act as an Executor and it is always a good idea to ensure that your Executor is willing to act before you appoint them. Where your estate is modest or your affairs uncomplicated, it may be appropriate to appoint a close family member or a friend to act as you Executor.  If you estate…
24 October 2017 News
The New Private Residential Tenancy in Scotland The new Private Residential Tenancy (PRT) has come into force. All new tenancies in the private sector entered into on or after 1st December 2017 in Scotland will be the new Private Residential Tenancy.  The new Private Residential Tenancy was introduced under the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016. The Scottish Government has released a model tenancy agreement which landlords can use to create the new Private Residential Tenancy. The model agreement can be found here: No new assured or short assured tenancies can be created on or after 1st December 2017. What is a “Private Residential Tenancy”? Section 1 of the 2016 Act…
20 October 2017 News
The Law Commission for England and Wales recently launched a consultation on proposals to update the current system used when drafting a Will, in an attempt to try and keep up with the digital age.   The Law Commission for England and Wales has suggested that the rules in terms of drafting Wills are “unclear” and “outdated”.   They have suggested that the rules should be relaxed and that instructions for your Will could be contained within e-mails, text messages and voicemail messages.   It would then be up to a Judge (in England and Wales) to determine whether or not such a recording or text message would be…
17 October 2017 News
Many people have supported a charity throughout their lifetime and it can be of great comfort to know that you can leave a final legacy in support of a worthy cause. In addition to giving you peace of mind, there are also tax advantages available in doing so, and your solicitor would be happy to give you advice on this. You have a choice when it comes to the type of legacy that you leave, no matter how big or small; it is possible to leave either a set sum of money, a portion of the residue of your estate or a specific item of your…
05 October 2017 News
Whilst buying a property at auction can be a great investment, it can also be a nightmare waiting to happen. Unfortunately, in August of this year, a purchaser from Glasgow learnt this lesson the hard way when he purchased a property for £7,000, and then discovered it was due to be demolished due to its severe state of dilapidation. Whilst the purchaser is currently seeking legal assistance to try and withdraw from the contract, at his expense, this situation could have been easily avoided if he had sought legal assistance prior to making a bid. If you are thinking of buying a property at auction, one…
26 September 2017 News
No matter how amicable a separation may be, there are a number of situations where advice from a solicitor is beneficial.  Where there are children under the age of 16 arrangements will need to be made for their care and upbringing and where there are matrimonial assets e.g. the matrimonial home or savings and investments you will need to understand what your rights and obligations are.  It is important to make informed decisions about these matters. Even where there are no children under the age of 16 or a very limited matrimonial estate, there may still be issues such as financial support following separation or the…

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North Berwick - 01620 892138
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Dunbar - 01368 862746

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