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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12176
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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My wife's father died about a year ago without leaving a will.

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My wife's father died about a year ago without leaving a will. He had about £20,000 in savings and owned the house that he was living in. He separated from his wife 30 years previous and she did not live in his house. He lived in Scotland
My wife and her sister are the only surviving children.
We took advice from several Solicitors at the time regarding inheritance rights.
We were advised that because the wife did not live in the house she was not entitled to inherit it. In other words the house would become the property of the children to live in or dispose off as they wish. This would appear to be supported by Succession (Scotland) Act 1964: Revised 2005.
The Solicitor dealing with the estate has now advised that the deceased wife is entitled to £50,000. I.e. a proportion of the £20,000 movable estate and an additional amount from the heritable estate to make up the £50,000.
This advice from the Solicitor does not appear to be correct to me. Can you please advise.
Thank you for your question.
The solicitor's advice is correct.
The wife isn't entitled to the house by way of prior rights because she didn't live in it at the time of her husband's death. However, she does have a prior right to the sum of £50,000 paid from both heritable and moveable estate.
See section 9(3) of the 1964 Act.
I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
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