Inheritance Tax Advice
Inheritance Tax can have an extremely important bearing on Wills and Executry Estates, as well as transfers of assets during life, where it frequently interacts with Capital Gains Tax. The recent introduction of the transferable nil rate band and the residence rate band are matters of importance to many ordinary people. Tax issues frequently provide the basis for renouncing or re-directing the benefits derived from other people’s estates, resulting in Deeds of Family Arrangement. Inheritance Tax is therefore at the heart of tax planning which, contrary to common belief, is not just for the super-rich but can be of great value to those of more modest means.
Separation & Divorce
Our experience includes all aspects of matrimonial work, including divorce and separation, and in particular assisting clients to negotiate separation/divorce agreements dealing with matrimonial assets such as marital homes and pension rights, endowment policies and similar investments. Failure to address the relevant financial and property issues in an informed and structured way can have disastrous consequences for those who choose to try to ignore them. Our experience in this field extends also to advising on ante-nuptial agreements or co-habitation agreements for co-habiting couples not contemplating marriage or a civil partnership.
Litigation & Arbitration
We have experience in litigating in the civil courts a very wide range of issues, ranging from property-related matters including title issues, issues in relation to servitude rights and matters relating to commercial agreements, intellectual property rights, restrictive covenants, issues arising from commercial leasing agreements and building contracts, relationships between shareholders of private limited companies and others. We act for pursuers and defenders in such proceedings but we do not undertake criminal work or work requiring the grant of legal aid.
Our services in relation to the winding up of executry estates are designed to take an executor-client through the process of preparing an Inventory of the estate, applying for Confirmation and making appropriate tax (including income tax and Inheritance Tax) returns, to the later stage of ingathering the estate and finally distributing the proceeds to the entitled beneficiaries. Not infrequently, our executry services will include advising on and drafting a Deed of Family Arrangement by virtue of which the benefits or some of the benefits derived by Will are redirected to other people, typically younger members of the family.
(Domestic & Commercial)
Our property-related services include purchase and sale of land and buildings of all kinds, both residential and commercial. Whilst we do not act for the major Building Societies or Banks in connection with residential mortgages, we do undertake commercial security work as well as well as the discharge of all kinds of securities. We also offer a full range of services relating to the leasing of commercial properties as well as the creation of options to purchase and subordinate rights, such as servitudes, in connection with land and advising on title issues and disputes.
Our range of experience in the field of construction law is extensive. Not only have we advised upon disputed issues but we have also represented a number of clients in adjudication proceedings. We have also had occasion to litigate construction issues on several occasions over the years, leading in one case to a notable decision from the Scottish courts in relation to the effectiveness of contractual terms for the appointment of an adjudicator. We are also able to offer assistance in connection with the drafting and framing of construction agreements in the light of the most recent legislation and case law.
Corporate & Commercial Matters
Our experience in relation to corporate and commercial matters is extensive and covers a very wide area of legal work of interest to the businessman. The range of our work includes corporate shareholders’ agreements, partnership agreements, agency and distribution agreements etc. Such agreements require negotiating and drafting skills which we pride ourselves in possessing and as well as chamber work in relation to such matters, we also offer our services in providing advice and assistance where disputes arise that may require to be resolved by negotiation or by litigation.
Wills & Powers of Attorney
We offer a full service in relation to the preparation of Wills and related issues, including in particular the impact of Inheritance Tax on death or during life. Our services include the giving of advice on the effect of implied rights such as the legal rights of spouses and children that automatically apply in Scots law, but whose existence is frequently unknown to clients. Nowadays, following legal reforms dating from 2000, it is as important to have a Power of Attorney as it is to have a properly drawn Will. That is a service we provide.