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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 9970
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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In Scots law if someone dies whose child predeceased them,

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In Scots law if someone dies whose child predeceased them, I understand that the grandchildren have legal rights to a third of the moveable estate, which would be a sixth each. Should one of the grandchildren die before the grandmother, is the surviving grandchild entitled to the original sixth or are they then entitled to the full third. The grandchild that died had no children
Thank you for your question.

In your scenario the surviving grandchild gets the whole third.

Just for completeness legal rights are one third where the deceased leaves a surviving spouse and one half if there is no surviving spouse.

In addition the third, or half as the case may be, going to the grandchild assumes that the deceased grandmother only had one (predeceasing) child.

I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. The grandmother had 3 children 1 predeceased is correct. The predeceased child had two children one who sadly died before the grandmother. So where they were entitled to a sixth each when there were two, you are saying that the sixth left to the deceased grandchild passes automatically to the other grandchild. I ask for confirmation because this answer is in conflict with a previous answer I had on this subject ( not from yourselves)

That changes things.

I will have to consider some other issues for you. can you tell me if there is a surviving spouse or not and whether there is a will or not?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No there is not a surviving spouse and yes there was a will, and the will left everything to the two surviving children. ie the Grandmothers children.

Because there is no surviving spouse the legal rights fund is a half of the moveable estate, not a third.

But the legal rights fund is not a half to the grandchildren. It is a half across those children/ grandchildren entitled to claim whether or not they actually claim.

So in this case there are 3 claimants, the two children and the grandchildren. Each of the 3 claimants is entitled to claim an equal share of the half, ie, a sixth to child one, a sixth to child two and a sixth to the grandchildren between them. As one grandchild has predeceased the other get the whole sixth share of moveable property. Had the other grandchild survived each grandchild would have been entitled to a twelfth.

Your initial understanding appears to be that the grandchildren who were cut out of the will were entitled to a total of a third. This was incorrect on two fronts. Firstly, the legal rights fund is a half where there is no surviving spouse. Secondly the legal rights fund is notionally divided between all potential claimants when calculating the shares that each would be entitled to.

I hope that this helps. Please leave positive feedback so that I am credited for my time.
JGM and other Scots Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your reply it has been very helpful.


So for example if the Grandmother left 12,000 pounds the two children and the grandchild would be entitled to a share of 6000 pounds which would be (in this case) 2000 each, and the rest of the estate would go to who it was willed to?


I will be leaving positive feedback.



Yes, in practice the grandchild will get £2000. The other children have the choice of claiming their legacy under the will or their legal rights but not both.

If someone claims legal rights they are deemed to have renounced their legacy under the will.

If the estate has been left to them they will of course claim their legacy under the will.

Thank you for using JustAnswer and for leaving positive feedback which is appreciated.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you again.


One more question has arisen, if the legal rights are not claimed by the two children and they claim their legacy under the will does the grandchild get the full half of the moveable assets as in my example 6000 or still gets a sixth of the moveable estate. Thanks for your time, I don't know much about these things.

No they get only their share of the legal rights fund, in this case the £2000.

That is why a legal right fund is a notional figure.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello, am I allowed another question or should I go through the fee process again?


If I am able to ask:


There are two accounts in English Building Societies, whose terms say governed by English Law, do these accounts come out with the scope of legal rights?




No they don't. The estate is being wound up under Scots law. The bank accounts are moveable property. The law that applies to the relationship between bank and customer is not relevant.

The money in the bank accounts will be included as part of the legal rights claim.