We published the Scottish Government 'Consultation on the Law of Succession 2019' for 12 weeks, between 17 February and 10 May 2019.
The central focus of the paper was on how, in the absence of a will, an estate should be split where there are both a surviving spouse/civil partner and children. We sought views on alternative approaches to reform of the law of intestacy with reference to two regimes which operate elsewhere – British Columbia, Canada and Washington State, USA.
We also sought views on extending an alternative approach to cohabitants. The aim was to test respondents' views on what cohabitants' rights on intestacy should be, and whether these have shifted since we last consulted on this matter.
Tied in with these was whether step-children should have the same rights in intestate succession as biological or adopted children.
In addition, there were a number of other discrete issues on which views were sought. These were:
- whether a murderer should continue to be able to act as executor in their victim's estate;
- the time limit for temporary aliment;
- information publicly available after a grant of confirmation;
- the value of the small estates limit;
- equitable compensation; and,
- timeshare contracts which purport to continue in perpetuity.