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We are often asked this question and the answer as always depends!

It depends on who amongst the deceased’s family survives him or her. The estate is divided in slices as follows-

Prior Rights

If a spouse survives then he or she is entitled to the first slice which is known as Prior Rights. Calculated thus-

  • House up to a value of £473,000.00
  • Furniture up to a value of £29,000.00
  • Cash or equivalent where no children £89,000.00
  • Cash or equivalent where children survive £50,000.00

Legal Rights

The next slice is to the spouse again and to the children. This slice is known as Legal Rights.

The Spouse can claim 50% of the *net moveable estate if there are no children and 33% if there are children.

The Children (including illegitimate and adopted Children) can claim 50% of the net moveable estate if there is no surviving spouse and 33% if there is a surviving spouse. This share is divided equally between the children and passes to grandchildren if a child has died and left offspring.

Free Estate

Once the claims above have been met the balance of the estate passes to the next of kin in the following order-

  • Children take all;
  • Either both parents and brothers and sisters – half to each group;
  • Brothers and sisters take all;
  • Either or both parents take all;
  • Husband or wife or civil partner takes all;
  • Uncles or aunts take all;
  • Grandparents take all

*net moveable estate - this is the estate excepting land, buildings, houses etc. after payment of any relevant debts.

The law is stated as at January 2018.

Wilson & Fish Expert Executry and Probate Solicitors Glasgow, Scotland

Wilson & Fish is a niche firm specialising in Probate and Executry. If you have any questions about the succession procedure where there is no will, contact us today on 01412227951 or fill in our online enquiry form for advice from our Executry Solicitors. We are based in Glasgow and help clients throughout Scotland, including from Ayrshire, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Paisley, East Kilbride and Stirling.


We are a niche firm specialising in Executry, Probate & Estate Administration.

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