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Law Society of Scotland


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3 minutes reading time (544 words)

Laying Down the Law: What are grandchildren's rights to an inheritance?

MY mum has left his estate in her will to my sister and me. My sister has passed away and someone has said to me that her share will go to her kids when my mother dies and not to me as surviving child. What is the legal position? 

IT depends on how the will is written. You have in your letter given me a small sample of the will wording but I am not sure if it covers all the relevant aspects of this. Basically unless it is stated in the will that grandchildren – ie. children of a child who has died before the parent – are to inherit, they don’t get the willed share, and you as surviving child will get your deceased sister’s share. However, the grandchildren may have a legal right share no matter what the will says, and you need detailed advice so speak to a solicitor and show her or him the will.

MY son bought a house with a Home Report supplied by the sellers. It said the central heating was working. Within two days of moving in it was obvious it wasn’t, but he got no compensation. Are these Home Reports worth the paper they’re printed on?

Unsatisfactory. In the Home Report there is a survey and a questionnaire. The survey would not confirm the effectiveness of the heating – ie. the surveyor would not have tested it, so I assume the questionnaire said it was working. If that was wrong, then that should be taken up with the seller. However, your missives of purchase (contract) should have given your son the right to raise defects in working systems up to five working days or a week after the date of entry and make the seller responsible for repairs – as long as the seller was informed within that time. Your son should go back to your solicitor and ask if this applied in his case.

I WAS on holiday and had to call the doctor for a migraine attack that was beyond my ability to deal with. The insurers are not paying up as they say I had this as a pre-existing condition. But I had not had any problem with this for years before this holiday.

HOLIDAY insurance is very strict, in that anyone taking a policy out must be thorough in answering questions on previous medical history. If you don’t disclose a previous condition, even if in your opinion historic, it allows the insurance company to refuse refund of expenditure

I GOT a phone call from a debt agency saying it is very urgent that I give his number to my neighbour, to get the neighbour to phone him. I think this is appalling that they are calling my house.

I agree. Presumably they have been writing to the neighbour, or leaving messages of some sort for them. They have no right to contact you or try to drag you into the matter, though there is nothing illegal about the debt collectors contacting you and making this request. If they continue, it could be regarded as harassment and a legal nuisance by them. You should write to the debt agency telling them never to contact you again – or just ignore them.

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