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cityguru, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 13325
Experience:  solicitor
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I am entitled to a legacy under my late fathers will; however,

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I am entitled to a legacy under my late father's will; however, I wish to know what sum I would be entitled to according to my legal rights before deciding whether to accept the legacy or claim my legal rights. I have made this wish clear to the executors of the will. The solicitor acting for the executors has now sent me a cheque for the amount of the legacy. The accopanying letter makes no mention of my legal rights. Is the solicitor acting for the executors obliged to tell me what my legal rights would be if I ask for that information? I am also assuming that I should not cash the cheque sent - is that correct?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 3 years ago.

Buachaill :

1. At the outset, under the law of

Buachaill :

England & Wales, a son or daughter has no automatic entitlement to a share under this father's will. There is merely an ability to apply to court under the 1975 Inheritance (Rights of Dependents) Act for a share in the will to be decided by the judge. So there is no guarantee that you will get any share at all. This application has to be founded on need and whatever grounds you can show that you are entitled to a share. I have never seen anyone succeed where they were given a sizeable legacy under the will.

Buachaill :

2. Accordingly, you should certainly accept the legacy your father has given you in his will. The issue then arises is whether you would get any more if you made an application to court. Here if you provide some idea of the size of the estate, the number of other dependents, such as wife and family, I can assess whether you would in actual fact get any more if you were to renounce your rights under the will.

Buachaill :

3. Sorry, I did not see that this is Scots law. Not England & Wales law. I will opt out and let someone else answer it.

Expert:  cityguru replied 3 years ago.
Hi can you explain whether your father is survived by a spouse. What the estate contains in value and whether there is heritable property how much is your legacy and apart from you do you have other brother and sisters?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi there. I am not sure why all of this information is needed to answer my question about whether the solicitor acting for the executors is obliged to tell me the value of my father's net moveable estate (and therefore what sum I would be entitled according to my legal rights). Indeed, part of my difficulty is that I do not know the value of my father's estate. However, my father is survived by a spouse and myself, my brother and my sister. Broadly speaking, my father's estate consists of a share in a farming partnership (although I do not know what his share of the partnership was at the time of his death) and some cash (again, I do not know the total amount). The farm is the only heritable property involved, but I do not know whether it is owned by the farming partnership or jointly by the partners as individuals (I understand that this makes a difference as to whether the farm is treated as heritable property or moveable property). The value of the legacy left to me is £5,000. Hope this helps - happy to provide more information as required.
Expert:  cityguru replied 3 years ago.
Hi thanks for the additional information. Perhaps I did not understand fully your question. I was trying to get enough information to indicate whether it was sensible to exercise legal rights.

The executor is certainly obliged to tell you what your legal rights are or a dive you on whether to exercise them. Their job is to gather in the estate and distribute it according to the will.

The size of the estate ought to be public record filed with the confirmation application with the sheriffs court so there is no reason why they should not provide you with the information.

You may well know the position on legal rights but it does not sound as f there is a matrimonial home which would go to the spouse. but as you portably know you are entitled with your brother and sister to a third of moveable estate.

As you say without further information it is difficult to asses what is there. What the interest in the farm is worth or what form it takes may be critical. IF it is an unlimited general partnership then ti would not form part of the movable estate but if it is a limited partnership then his interest is in the partnership not the underlying asset.

To make acclaim worthwhile clearly the moveable estate needs to be well in excess of £50,000. net of tax

There is no reason not to cash the cheque - it is not deemed acceptance. You can write back and say than you for the cheque but you want to know how much was the moveable estate as you believe the legacy is a lot less than your legal rights and you intend to enforce those if appropriate.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for this - it is most helpful. As you say, the interest in the farm is the critical thing. How can I obtain information about the nature of the partnership? Is the solicitor acting for he executors obliged to tell me, to support any assertion that the share in the farming partnership does not form part of the net moveable estate. Or would I just have to accept any such assertion at face value?
Expert:  cityguru replied 3 years ago.
It should be fairly straightforward to search the title to the farm and find out if the proprietors are individuals or an incorporated entity . So you do not have to take their word for it.
cityguru, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 13325
Experience: solicitor
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you.